Nervous Kenyans await Odinga response to Kenyatta poll victory

NAIROBI- Nervous Kenyans waited on Tuesday for the response of opposition leader Raila Odinga to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last week’s election, which inflamed the deep ethnic tensions dividing the East African nation.
Odinga, a veteran politician who has now lost his fourth election, is expected to give his first reaction to Kenyatta’s Monday night victory in a speech to loyalists from his Luo tribe some time after 0700 GMT.

“We are just waiting for Baba to speak,” said Desmond Litava, an Odinga supporter in Kawangware, a restive slum in the capital, Nairobi, using a term of respect for the leader.

In the worse case, Odinga could call for his supporters to take to the streets, unleashing chaos in cities such as Nairobi and Kisumu to the detriment of the already struggling economy.

After a disputed election in 2007, around 1,200 people were killed in clashes between rival ethnic gangs that also led to a prolonged slump in the region’s biggest and most important economy.

On the other hand, Odinga could limit his appeal to the courts, as he did in 2013, and yield to diplomatic pressure to engage in post-election ‘national dialogue’ with his arch political rival.

The announcement of Kenyatta’s victory, by a margin of 98 percent due to an Odinga boycott on the grounds the election was not free or fair, provoked anger in pro-Odinga slums, whose residents burnt tire barricades and threw rocks at police.

Anti-riot officers responded with volleys of tear gas, in scenes that have been common in Nairobi’s slums and Odinga strongholds in western Kenya since the first attempt at an election in August.

That vote was annulled by the Supreme Court on the basis of procedural irregularities in the vote-tallying. Odinga argued that the re-run was also flawed because of a failure to replace key officials of the election commission

Loading...

5 Comments

  1. Comment…I can see that happening in our country next year

  2. I have long supported the opposition, but there are no two ways about it, nonetheless, except the legai route. Kenyans cannot afford another bloody ordeal to define their destiny. Let us settle this stalemate once and for all as we are now tired of the prolonged electioneering period and the ensuing socioeconomic crisis.

  3. Comment…let us not wish for bloodbath

  4. ZIMUNDA BENEDICT

    DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA WILL ALWAYS REMAIN AN ABSTRACT ISSUE.IF SOME CRITICALLY CLAIM ITS EXISTENCE, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE THAT IT’S ‘FRAGILE’

  5. I think the problem in Africa is that some people think they cannot lose. If they lose then they say its rigged. The answer to this I think, is to make the voting process flawless and avoid all these issues after each election.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.