, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – Rain has for long been associated with divine blessings in any African set up, but was it the case as a downpour drenched the streets of Nairobi ahead of the Supreme Court ruling?
At 9.30am Monday morning it was drizzling in Mathare slums. The skies over Kenya’s capital remained overcast and the country was ‘pregnant’ with anxiety.
The clock was ticking to the Supreme Court ruling in the October 26 presidential repeat poll that will either uphold President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory or extend the electioneering period by some 60 days, during which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will be required to conduct a third election.
But with that, Mathare – a politically volatile area where Kenya’s Opposition leader Raila Odinga draws following – all was calm just a few hours after chaos rocked the populous suburb, following the heinous killings of four locals by unknown assailants.
“Tao (town) thirty (shillings fare),” goes a matatu conductor amid the revving of motor vehicles, in Mathare’s ever busy bus terminus.
A spot check however reveals that while a few markets stalls were operating, majority of traders had not opened business by Monday morning.
A few metres away a group of youths can be seen speaking in low tones.
Tens of people have lost their lives in the area during political confrontations that often turn deadly.
“I have nothing to say about it,” John Omondi told Capital FM News after he was asked to share his views about Monday’s ruling.
Another said, “but we did not vote. Raila Odinga didn’t challenge the election.”
The area is cosmopolitan, sharply divided along tribal lines, and thus is perfectly painted when it comes political affiliation.
“I am hopeful that President Kenyatta victory will be upheld,” Margaret Wanjiru, a resident of Mathare said.
Deep in the heart of the area, tens of police officers have been deployed to ensure law and order prevails.
In Githurai, a populous suburb of Nairobi, calm had resumed after a night of heightened tension following protests by a group of youths.
They had barricaded the busy Thika Superhighway and a few motorists were harassed.
Along Juja road, a route characterized by heavy traffic, it was all clear except for a few Public Service Vehicles.