Violent protests have erupted in opposition strongholds in Nairobi as well as the western city of Kisumu after opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga alleged massive rigging and police has shot dead two people In Nairobi.
The elections have taken an ominous turn as violent protests erupted in the capital and elsewhere after opposition leader Raila Odinga alleged fraud, saying hackers used the identity of a murdered official to infiltrate the database of the country’s election commission and manipulate results.
With results from almost all of the polling stations counted, President Uhuru Kenyatta was shown with a wide lead over Odinga in his bid for a second term.
Soon after Odinga spoke on television, angry protesters in the slums of Nairobi and the opposition stronghold of Kisumu in the southwest burned tires, set up roadblocks and clashed with police, witnesses said.
Two people were shot dead in Nairobi as they took advantage of the protests to steal, Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said. An AP photographer said one was shot in the head.
Kenyan police opened fire on people protesting election results earlier Wednesday in another opposition stronghold, killing one person. The shooting happened in South Mugirango constituency in Kisii county, said Leonard Katana, a regional police commander.
Odinga, a former prime minister, blamed Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party for the alleged hacking of the election database.
“The fraud Jubilee has perpetuated on Kenyans surpasses any level of voter theft in our country’s history. This time we caught them,” he tweeted.
Odinga claimed that hackers used the identity of Christopher Msando, an election official in charge of managing information technology systems. On 31 July, officials announced that Msando had been tortured and killed, alarming Kenyans who feared a recurrence of political violence that has been fuelled by ethnic divisions.
Msando had sought to reassure voters that election results would not be tampered with.
In the city of Kisumu, police used tear gas and shot at protesters who were upset after Odinga’s fraud allegations, said demonstrator Sebastian Omolo.
“He is not accepting the results and that is why we are on the streets, but police have started shooting,” Omolo said.
The western port city on Lake Victoria has been a flashpoint in past elections.
“There may come a time we may have to call you to action,” Musyoka said. “But for now it is important we be strategic as we delve deep into this matter.”