Opposition claims 100 killed in Kenya post-election unrest
A member of Kenya’s opposition has claimed that 100 people have been killed in the ongoing post-election violence in the country.
James Orengo, from the opposition coalition National Super Alliance (NASA), said on Saturday that 100 people had died during violence that erupted after Uhuru Kenyatta was on Friday declared the winner of the presidential election.
The 55-year-old Kenyatta has been in office since 2013, and the opposition says the election, which was held on Tuesday, was rigged to give him a second five-year term in office.
Orengo claimed that it had all been pre-planned.
“This state terror is being executed following a very meticulous preparation,” he said. “They knew they would steal an election, so all the instruments were put in place.”
Orengo did not specify the source of the death toll he offered, and government officials have denied that any deaths have occurred.
Media reports have cited eyewitnesses as saying that fatalities have happened, but they have put the toll at much lower. A Reuters report said 11 people had died.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission said it had registered 24 deaths since the Tuesday election, most of them in the capital, Nairobi.
Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said police had not used live bullets against “peaceful protesters,” but described some of the protesters as “opportunistic criminals and looters” who had to be “dealt with.”
Amnesty International has called on Kenyan authorities to investigate the reported deaths.
Amnesty said it had received credible reports that three people had been shot in the protests.
“Everyone has a right to peaceful protest and they must not be hurt, injured, or killed for exercising that right,” Muthoni Wanyeki, the group’s regional director for East Africa, said in a statement.
AU praises Kenya as Africa’s role-model
Meanwhile, the African Union (AU) has commended Kenya for what it has described as a smooth presidential election.
“The Africa Union wishes to congratulate the people of Kenya for this demonstration of the maturity of their democracy,” said Ebba Kalondo, a spokesperson for the Africa Union Commission (AUC), on Friday.
Kalondo described the Kenyan nation as a role model for other African states.
“We think that Kenya is an example to the continent by this display of faith in their own systems, in the constitution and the electoral law that brought about this process,” he said.
The AU spokesperson added that electoral disputes had to be addressed through legal channels. “If there is any dispute, we feel that the laws in place and the institutions in Kenya are strong and robust and can deal with such disputes.”
Kenya’s electoral commission announced that Kenyatta had won 54.27 percent of the votes and that his 72-year-old rival, opposition leader Raila Odinga, had secured 44.74 percent of the ballots.
Post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 and 2008 left some 1,200 people dead.