Kenya’s Post-election Violence Leaves Several Dead

Pressure grows on Kenya’s Raila Odinga to calm supporters amid post-election violence

Violence erupted after the re-election of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta this week, leaving at least 24 people dead nationwide.


Friday’s announcement that President Kenyatta had been re-elected sparked two days of violent protests that has left as many as 24 people dead. But as of Sunday calm appears to have returned to the East African country.

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga appeared to heed growing calls for post-election calm on Sunday as he called for his supporters to protest the recent election results by boycotting work on Monday.

His announcement comes after two days of bloody protests by Odinga supporters that left two dozen people dead.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson were among those urging Odinga to push for calm.

On Sunday Guterres urged Odinga to “send a clear message to his supporters urging them to refrain from violence.”

A ‘charade’

Police were blamed for shooting and killing at least 11 people in the capital Nairobi, including a young child, on August 12 as part of the latest bout of post-election violence in Kenya. Security forces reportedly fired “sporadic shots” at protesters in a bid to break up demonstrations against Kenyatta’s re-election. The government denied that police used live ammunition to quell protesters.

Rioting continued Saturday after the incumbent president was officially declared the winner of the August 8 vote. There were reports of blocked roads and burning barricades in the capital, Nairobi.

In Kisumu, about 200 miles (325 kilometers) northwest of the capital, another man was reportedly shot dead by police, while at least five more were injured, according to an unnamed regional police commander.

Meanwhile in Mathare, a slum area in Nairobi, police were seen charging at demonstrators firing live rounds and tear gas.

Election monitors, meanwhile, voiced support for the election results as opposition parties maintained the notion that the vote must have been rigged. President Uhuru Kenyatta was officially declared the winner of the election despite ongoing accusations of fraud from Odinga, who called the election a “sham” and a “charade,” claiming that already 100 people had been killed in post-election clashes.

Assaults on journalists

Witnesses speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Associated Press news agency that Kenyan police officers had harassed and physically assaulted at least four journalists covering protests over Kenyatta’s re-election. The journalists in question were allegedly tear-gassed and hit with batons, and their equipment was confiscated or they were ordered to delete content.

Kenya Television Network’s political reporter Duncan Khaemba was reportedly arrested and held for hours at a police station because he had not been carrying a required permit for wearing his bulletproof vest and helmet. He was later released.

Ethnic and economic divisions

The unrest appears to expose growing divisions across Kenya, where corruption at top levels of government has angered many voters, including those who regard Odinga as a viable alternative to voice their grievances. Tribal loyalty was also seen as a major contributor to these growing social rifts with Kenyatta widely seen as the representative of the Kikuyu people, the country’s largest ethnic group, while Odinga is associated with the Luo tribe.

Catholic leaders meanwhile appealed for calm and asked security forces to exercise caution during protests.

“We appeal to them to restrain themselves from using excessive force in handling crowds,” said John Oballa Owaa, vice chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. “No life should be lost because of an election.”

Election fraud unlikely

The main elections monitoring group, ELOG, announced that its own tally closely resembled the official results. ELOG had posted 8,300 observers on the ground during Tuesday’s vote, concluding that Kenyatta had garnered 54 percent, compared with the official figure of 54.3 percent.

“We did not find anything deliberately manipulated,” Regina Opondo, the chairwoman of ELOG’s steering committee, told a news conference.

Tensions remain high, as the aftermath of the 2007 election remains a vivid memory for many where widespread protests left more than 1,100 people dead amid suggestions that the vote may have been manipulated.

24 thoughts on “Kenya’s Post-election Violence Leaves Several Dead

  1. “Democracy” is destroying Africa every four (five) years. But What is this “Democracy”? A means to peace and stability or towards chaos and destabilization?

    Democracy comparison in East Africa:

    – Kenya’s Uhuru (54.27%)
    – Rwanda’s Kagame (98.58%)
    – Ethiopia’s Hailemaraim (100%)

    Eritrea, on the other hand, had any presidential elections yet it’s the most stable and peaceful nation on the continent. Any idea how?

    1. Your answer TN is indigenous democracy. This “democracy” we see in Africa is copy/paste from europe. We have different values than europe and diffrent history hence we need our own organic laws and democracy. Eritrea will show Africa what real democracy looks like i have no doubt. We Eritreans usually say in order to have a muhbul hager you need muhbul hibret’e seb. So high literacy/ high election turn out & fair play. Not billionaires & millionaires who lord over everyone because they started farther in the front and are closer to the finishing line. For instance in 93 the literacy in Eritrea was in the low 20’s iirc now its over 80% avg and 94% in youth. This will be a great help that will usher in a more inclusive society. This is what we are working for along with equal distribution of the lands resources i have no doubt that Eritrea will be a beacon of light soon.

      1. “Indigenous democracy” is what Africa needs not a one-size-fits-all kind of Democracy that is imported (copied) direct from western constitution books. I completely agree with that. Thanks.

        1. Guys what is wrong? Don’t be blind and say ” tinfer aintinfer TEI Iya” what is indigenous democracy? Define it and make it clear to the public/world.
          Yes these so called elections in Most of African countries are not peaceful, and not free from corruption. The problem lies with bad governance, unfinished nation building, and the inheritance of colonial inception.

          Either Presidential or parliamentary election based on the constitution is what is democracy. There should be developed civic institutions supported by security and governed by law to make it a meaning full and accepted election. There is no perfection but relatively adequate or acceptable elections, nothing is free from some type of errors.

          But I would like to hear about your indigenous democracy and the its philosophy and its process. I like to learn your ideology with practical evidence, thanks.

          1. You answered your own question. And i’ll give you the definitions since you don’t understand.

            adjective: indigenous
            originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.

            noun: democracy a
            system of government by the whole population or all the eligible
            members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

            What we are saying is Africa needs an organic and indigenous experience. In this respect Eritrea is a bit ahead of the pack because of our history. But even there., there are undemocratic elements from mesafinti era. So if you look at both comments and yours its easy to understand. But don’t look at TN’s comment as a microcosm because its not. In this one instance TN is just showing dissatisfaction of other African states and their behavior. Usually these countries in Africa when they are on a bad path they are aided by the west as to keep them weak.

    2. It doesn’t surprise me if you label the Iron fist military junta as stable but if not democracy then what? In order for it to be home grown, you need one simple document, constitution free from religion, respect men, women and children equally in the eyes of the law. Last time I checked, it’s a taboo to even bring it up amongst shabo people. For a continent like Africa, democracy is the only way out. Those countries tried to plant the seed but as you can imagine, not even those who are practicing it for the last 200 years got it right in the first or second elections, it’s a working progress we can’t just abandon. They should be commanded for trying to save something for the future generation. Saudi from outside can be just like your Eritrea, “stable” but if you lift the lid, their faith is just the same as these countries. Eritrea is no exception, in your case however, you are watering it without planting the seed, all that will bring is just flooding.

      1. Ugumish
        It is mind boggling a MLLT zombie as you are don´t even know what your are referring of the word junta, but as it is very common among the ugumish with IQ 63, you churn out erratic inconsequential at best idiotic remarks, symptomatic of the dedebit learned coterie. Shabia and our leaders are those who fought for decades and finally brought to its knees black Africa’s best equipped army, not to mention the vast experience and military prowess of Shabia with a unique expertise even made possibility the unfortunate occurrence that the narrow minded junta climbed at the helm of power at Menelik´s Place. The word junta Ayte ugumish with inferiority disorder, can best describe your fusty cousins who are hated and despised by the overwhelming majority. Sentiko the Ugumish boy it is better to think of your future in the tiny drought ridden barren land rather than spending behind screen 24/7 not even Korshe will be available by then uguimey.

      2. the weyane concocted word “home grown democracy” tell me Atakhlti, how is democracy “home grown”? did you invent it and nurture it and it is “100%” organic? or it is introduced and then “100% adopted but with weyane touch?

        Another question is? if your democracy is “home grown” then it must have matured quickly so it reached 100%. If not then the growth must be counted backwards 100%,99% etc. I am confused as to which way your democracy is growing. please elaborate?

      3. Whatever you mentioned above still not practically applicable in your mama Ethiopia. You got “constitution” (straight from the Western books – according to Meles) yet your people is still divided on the lines of ethnicity, language and religion more than any other time. On the one hand, Eritrea yet to ratify its 1997 constitution but its people are UNITED with out ‘almost’ no division on religious lines and ethnicity. So ‘constitution’ can not be the master key to unlock the ‘election’ or ‘democracy’ problems in Africa.

        Again holding elections and conducting “selections” are two different issues. In real election, there is always room for the opponent side but if you run a process called ‘selection’, under the guise of election, you will end up winning it all. That is how every time there is an “election” in Ethiopia, it end up in “selection” process that took over 40 days to release the final results.

        you said: ‘not even those who are practicing it for the last 200 years got it right in the first or second elections, it’s a working progress ….’

        You’re absolutely right. Election is a work in progress and that’s why TPLF’s election motto said : “making every election better than the last one”. From wining 99.6% in 2010, to winning it North Korean style, i.e. 100% in 2015. It gets better and better.

      4. Typical TPLF “constitution” that is free from religion and ethnic division, bla bla …. ‘Tension is high at the border the Oromia and Ethiopian Somali regions’

        በሶማሌ እና ኦሮሚያ ድንበር ውጥረት ሰፍኗል

        (DW – 14 Aug 2017) – በሶማሌ እና ኦሮሚያ ክልል አዋሳኝ ቦታዎች ባለፈው ሳምንት የተቀሰቀሰው ግጭት ጋብ ቢልም በቦታዎቹ ላይ አሁንም ውጥረት እንደሰፈነ የአካባቢው ነዋሪዎች ለዶይቸ ቬለ ገለጹ፡፡ ከዚህ ቀደም በተካሄደ ህዝበ ውሳኔ በኦሮሚያ ስር እንዲተዳደሩ የተደረጉ ቀበሌዎች ወደ ሶማሌ ክልል እንዲጠቃለሉ ተወስኗል በሚል ነዋሪዎቹ ተቃውሟቸውን በማሰማት ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡

        በኦሮሚያ ክልል ምስራቅ ሐረርጌ ዞን የሚገኙ የባቢሌ እና ጉርሱም ወረዳዎች ሰሞኑን መረጋጋት ርቋቸዋል፡፡ ተመሳሳይ ስም ካላቸው የሶማሌ ክልል ተጎራባች ወረዳዎች ጋር ፍጥጫ ውስጥ ሰንብተዋል፡፡ መነሾው ደግሞ አወዛጋቢውን የሁለቱን ክልል ድንበር ለመከለል እየተደረገ ያለ ጥረት ነው፡፡

        ባለፈው ሐሙስ በባቢሌ የጀመረው ተቃውሞ እና ግጭት ወደ ጉርሱም ተሻግሯል፡፡ ግጭቱ በሳምንቱ የመጨረሻ ቀናት ጋብ ቢልም በአካባቢው ከፍተኛ ውጥረት መስፈኑን ነዋሪዎች ይናገራሉ፡፡ ስማቸው እንዳይጠቀስ የጠየቁ የባቢሌ ከተማ ነዋሪ በወረዳው ገጠር ቀበሌዎች የተነሳው ግጭት እንዴት እንደነበር ያስረዳሉ፡፡ ቀበሌዎቹ በ1996 በኦሮሚያ እና ሶማሌ አወዛጋቢ ቦታዎች በተካሄደው ህዝበ ውሳኔ የተካተቱ ነበሩ ይላሉ፡፡

        “ያው በድንበር ላይ በተመለከተ በሶማሌ እና አሮሞ መካከል ሰላም አልነበረም፡፡ ሐሙስ ዕለት ቀን የሶማሌ እና የኦሮሞ ኮሚቴ እነዚህ ኮሚቴዎች በህዝበ ውሳኔ ጋር ያሉት ሽማግሌዎች ናቸው፡፡ እነዚህ ሽማግሌዎች ቦታውን እነርሱ ስለሚያውቁት እነርሱ ነው የሚወስኑት ተብሎ እስከ 30 ሽማግሌዎች ከየቀበሌው ተሰበሰቡ፡፡ ከእነርሱ ተቀምጠው እየተወያዩበት ነበር፡፡ ወደ ቦታውም ሄደው እያዩ ነበር፡፡ በህዝበ ውሳኔው የተወሰነው ቦታ ትንሽ ራቅ ይላል፡፡ ኦዳ ዳከታ ይባላል፡፡ በዚያ ያለው ህዝብ ኦሮሚያ መሬት ላይ ተቀምጦ የእኛ ነው መሬቱ ብለው የኦሮሞ ሰዎች እና ወደ እዚያ የሚሄዱ እስከ አራት የኦሮሞ መኪናዎችን ወጥተው በድንጋይ ሰባበሩት፡፡ ከዚያ በኋላ [ሽማግሌዎቹን] ሲያባርሯቸው ወደ ከተማ ተመለሱ” ሲሉ ስለ ሀሙሱ ክስተት ያብራራሉ፡፡

        በወቅቱ በነበረው ግጭት የተፈነከቱ ሰዎች እንደነበሩ ገልጸው ከዚያ የከፋ ጉዳት አለመድረሱን ግን ተናግረዋል፡፡ ነዋሪው በጠቀሱት ዕለት በአዲስ አበባ ያለው የአሜሪካ ኤምባሲ በባቢሌ እና ሐረር መካከል ባሉ አካባቢዎች የተኩስ ልውውጥ የታከለበት ከፍተኛ ግጭት እንዳለ ለዜጎቹ በላከው መልዕክት አስጠንቅቆ ነበር፡፡ ከሐረር ጅጅጋ የሚወስደው አውራ ጎዳና መዘጋቱንም አሳውቋል፡፡ በወቅቱ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ባለስልጣናት ጉዳዩን አስተባብለዋል፡፡ ኤምባሲው በነጋታው ባወጣው ተመሳሳይ መልዕክት አውራ ጎዳናው ክፍት መሆኑን ነገር ግን ዜጎቹ በየአካባቢያቸው የሚሆነውን በንቃት እንዲከታተሉ አሳስቧል፡፡

        continue reading …..

    3. I think people should learn to respect the wish of the majority. The problem in Africa is both the leaders & supporters, they seem to think their way is the only way. People should understand that democracy is vital to eliminate conflict but it has to be genuine. Africa should come out of primitive mentality, driven by emotion.

      1. “Primitive mentality” are we? are you? what makes you think Africa is primitive?, people spit out words assuming they are knowledgeable, what makes you think introduction of a system that does not fit in Africa for decades will work now? We are not primitive it is that we are not use it and it is a foreign concept. Take Kenya for example, Kenya’s leaders win election based on votes from ethnic group with the upper hand and an alliance of minority ethnics/groups with the dominant ethnic group, and almost always wins, hence the killings, do you call this democracy? if yes then explain, if not then what is it?

  2. Btw.., this guy who is leading the opposition is a complete scum bag. He went to Europe on BBC and embarrassed his nation. I think it was on the program called “head to head” or something. When the opposition is an old man who acts like a 13yr old im glad the Kenyan ppl didn’t suffer more horrible turn out. I still believe despite its down falls kenya is still on the right track in alot of respects. There are some concerned when it comes to corruption but in Africa the bar is pretty low /sigh.

      1. How come you didn’t say that about the opposition in Ethiopia? The same observers attended 2005 election, 2010, 2015. Almost all gave thumbs up except stupid Anna Gomez, our certified losers must lose three more times or something?lol. Ayye kehadi

      2. Why do you go against Odinga, it is not as what you might think TN, Odinga was always friendly and at times supporter to the Eritrean cause of independence unlike others in Kenya. Actually his grandson is from an Eritrean mother.
        Go back to history and find out about Kenyata and Odinga and the making of Kenya.
        Be in his shoes and walk the talk.

  3. I dnt think elections are problem by itself. The problem is the pre existing political systems weaknesses, corruption, injustice, economic imbalances, ethnicity and lack of political maturity of the populance. Under all this pressures Africa is demanded to hold elections. We all know the result is predictable.

    Solution could be like China were focus is development and security and measured democratization and openess in the political sphere. If you compare China of yesterday and today its light years apart. In Africa this path can taken by Algeria, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. Eritrea can make some measured moves in the political sphere but main focus can be economic development and security.

    I hate when African regimes make hurried reforms when its too late. Also, hate so called oppotion make elections as the final objective itself.

  4. The Last Warlord (reformed) · Edit

    Kenya would cease to exist in three years time, as Ethnic tensions,muslims and christains in fighting and particular al shabab controlling large areas of northern and northern eastern kenyan and given the persistent use of hate speech from the kenyan leaders against the muslims.

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