KNCHR: 17 deaths recorded in October poll-related chaos

November 3, 2017 4:16 pm
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According to KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori, a minor and 11 males aged between 18 and 45 years are among those who died in the reported period, which also recorded 60 injuries/JEREMIAH WAKAYA

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) Friday released a new report indicating that 12 persons lost their lives between October 25 and the Election Day with another five deaths having been recorded between October 2 and 16 during anti-IEBC protests in Kisumu and Siaya.

According to KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori, a minor and 11 males aged between 18 and 45 years are among those who died in the reported period, which also recorded 60 injuries.

“The Commission is still investigating cases of more deaths and injuries and these numbers are likely to rise,” Mbogori who early October released an account of the August 8 poll indicating 37 lives had been lost following that election, stated.

In the October publication dubbed “Mirage at Dusk – A Human Rights Account of the 2017 General Election,” the highlighted the controversial deaths of now renown six-month-old baby Samantha Pendo, a seven-year-old Fred Omondi and eight-year-old Stephanie Moraa whose lives tragically cut short in election-related violence that pit Opposition protesters against the police.

“You recall that last month we did launch a report documenting 37 deaths, this fresh report documents deaths that occurred ahead of the fresh election after the nullification of the August 8 presidential election,” Mbogori said.

During the period, a total of 90 persons are said to have been injured countrywide bringing the number of the injured during the two elections to 150.

The Commission which deployed 540 election monitors also reported cases of intimidation of election officials and attacks on security officers maintaining law and order, an atmosphere the rights lobby’s Executive Director George Kegoro said hampered the exercise of the democratic right to vote by eligible Kenyans who either felt intimidated or compelled to vote depending on the main political inclination of the regions they found themselves in.

“The totality of our report shows that the standards that have been put in place where people go out to freely exercise there will without fear, intimidation or coercion; those standards have not been met,” he said.

The new report also documents violence against security officers in Opposition strongholds with some of them getting injured in line of duty.

“Between 2nd and 16th October, 2017, 13 police officers – 9 from Kisumu and four from Homa Bay counties – were attacked and assaulted by protesters and sustained injuries,” the report reads.

Two police vehicles also had their windscreens shattered in the named counties, according to the report.

The National Police Service has disputed fatality figures published by rights groups insisting that only twenty-four people had died during the August and the October elections.

The police have maintained that all of those deaths involved unruly protesters who aimed at vandalizing properties with some reportedly storming police stations.

KNCHR urged politicians aggrieved with the outcome of the October 26 presidential election to seek legal redress and avoid polarizing the nation along regional and ethnic lines.

“The Commission insists, that the rule of law and Constitutionalism must be applied by all to restore the spirit of our democratic societies,” the report encouraged.

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