, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Security has been heightened across the country ahead of a major announcement by National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga who lost last week’s presidential election.
More security personnel have been deployed to all areas, including Opposition strongholds of Kisumu, Mathare and Kibera where chaos erupted on Friday.
And while recognising the right of a peaceful gathering, President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta assured all Kenyans of adequate security saying the government will serve everyone.
“We are very grateful that Kenyans have said that the election is behind them, the majority have returned to work and we encourage that. Let’s return to work be peaceful so that we can develop our nation together,” he said on Monday.
He also reached out to Odinga, offering a “hand of peace” and urging him to use legal means to express his grievances, including peaceful demonstrations if he chooses not to go to court.
“Just do it peacefully, orderly… As a government we will not allow loss of life, destruction of property and looting, because many, many millions of Kenyans also are desirous to go about their business as before,” he said.
Odinga’s call for a work boycott was largely ignored on Monday as more businesses re-opened, with normal operations expected to resume Tuesday.
In the capital Nairobi, shops were operating, with traffic building up on most roads, a clear sign of normalcy in a city that has been experiencing a lull since Tuesday last week when Kenya held elections.
The NASA leader insists he is the rightful winner of a “stolen” election that handed victory to incumbent President Kenyatta.
But after days of violent protests in some areas and several deaths following the announcement of results late Friday, life showed signs of returning to normalcy across the country on Monday.
Odinga has lost three previous elections and has claimed he was cheated of victory in the last two.
After the 2007 vote, his supporters took to the streets during months of politically motivated tribal violence that left over 1,100 dead. Finally, an internationally brokered compromise led to a coalition government in which Odinga served as Prime Minister.
In 2013 he challenged the presidential results in court, and lost. But this time, Odinga has so far defied pressure to take his complaints to the court.
On Sunday he told cheering supporters, “We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action” and promised to speak again on Tuesday.
Police have denied innocent protesters have been killed, saying those shot dead had been armed and attacked officers, many while carrying out criminal acts such as rape and looting.