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DEATHS, MAYHEM. KENYANS CRYING FOR SANITY.

CCM leadership has appealed to both PNU and ODM followers to stop the ongoing senseless killings of fellow citizens but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

The two parties stands accused in the court of wananchi for being self centred and power hungry. ODM has vowed to stage mass action rallies starting 3rd jan 08 in Nairobi.

Forcifully holding this meeting could end in more deaths thereafter.

It appears this is the beginning of the end of the peaceful Kenya we knew before 27th dec 2007. 

Why die for someone to be president? It does not make sense for fellow poor kenyans to suddenly start killing themselves so that their tribe can keep power or take power.

In the end of it all we all end up as impoverished unthinking losers. Its better your man loses political power and you keep your sanity and life.

Death, chaos as ECK chiefs break ranks over results

Published on January 1, 2008, 12:00 am

By Standard TeamThe violence that has claimed at least 160 lives countrywide continued for the third day on Monday, on a day five Electoral Commission of Kenya commissioners broke ranks with their colleagues over the disputed presidential results.Nairobi and Kisumu remained under police siege, as the extent of damage to human life and property by the unprecedented chaos following ECK’s controversial declaration of President Kibaki as the victor in last year’s General Election began to emerge.Other areas that saw violent protests and clashes with the police were Mombasa, Eldoret, Kericho, Kilifi, Taveta, Wundanyi and Narok.

Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Narok, Kuresoi and Molo were also wracked by violence. The four commissioners — Mr Jack Tumwa, Mr Daniel Ndambiri, Mr Samuel arap Ng’eny and Mr Jeremiah Matagaro — called for a judicial review of the tallying and results in order to come up with an actionable report after serious doubts were cast on the process.

“We cannot remain silent under the circumstances. Like all Kenyans, we are deeply affected,” they said in a statement.

“Some of the information received from some of our returning officers now cast doubts on the veracity of the figures,” they said, while giving the example of Molo Constituency, whose results are said to have been inflated in favour of the PNU candidate.

They joined the Opposition party ODM and domestic election observers, who have cast serious doubts on the credibility of the vote-tallying process.

The United States and Canada, in separate statements, also expressed concerns over the serious problems experienced during vote-counting.

The Kenya Elections Domestic Observers Forum (Kedof) said: “In our view, considering the entire electoral process, the 2007 general election was credible in as far as the voting process is concerned. The electoral process lost credibility towards the end with regard to the tallying and announcement of presidential results”.

On the other hand, the Canadian Foreign Affairs minister, Maxime Bernier, urged the Government to urgently address the election irregularities in a timely, transparent and thorough manner.

The minister also criticised the suspension on live broadcasts. “The suspension of live broadcasts, irregularities in reporting of results and any move to restrict legitimate scrutiny of election results are serious concerns”.

In Nairobi, police moved in and sealed off Uhuru Park and all main roads into the Central Business District following an earlier announcement that the ODM presidential candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, would be holding a meeting at Uhuru Park.

Kisumu, where bloody violence had lasted overnight, was also a no-go zone as police ringed the lakeside town and kept out protesters.

In the meantime, a humanitarian crisis was unfolding as displaced people started running out of food and water.

A huge number of them were sleeping in the cold in police stations, schools and churches, and humanitarian organisations were having a hectic time attending to them.

On Monday, police sources said they had collected and taken to mortuaries around the country at least 164 bodies from worst hit areas.

The highest number of killings was reported in Kisumu, where journalists counted 43 bodies at a local mortuary.

Witnesses said the police fired live bullets after protesters threw stones and broke into shops.

Of these, two were women and three children, according to a police source.

Most of the deaths were at Manyatta and Nyamasira, where police shot at protesters allegedly looting and burning shops.

Nairobi followed with at least 40 bodies having been collected on Monday from various alleys of slums and other estates.

The populous Kibera slum was the worst-hit by violence, as residents woke up to a bloody morning to find tens of houses and kiosks gutted overnight and businesses looted clean.

A famous petrol station once owned by rally ace, Patrick Njiru, on Karanja road was reduced to ashes and five vehicles parked there also burnt.

Residents, who feared to be caught in the slum houses, fled as protesters moved indiscriminately setting houses on fire.

A huge pall of smoke caused by the fires hung over Kibera soon after President Kibaki was sworn in on Sunday evening.

Police said over 10 bodies were collected from the slum on Monday morning.

Other slums which were hit by violence and houses burnt were Mathare and Mukuru, where more bodies — some with bullet wounds and others with panga cuts — were found.

Residents from various estates called The Standard newsroom on Monday evening, saying they had spotted more bodies in Kibera, Huruma and Mathare.

GSU officers on Monday ringed the City Mortuary — where most of the bodies collected in Nairobi were taken — and enquired on the identity and business of anyone who wanted to get in.

Police and mortuary sources said the morgue had over 60 bodies.

Eldoret was also hard-hit with 24 bodies collected.

Most were victims of the mayhem that hit the town and its environs on Saturday and Sunday.

The Commissioner of Police, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, said there were “few” cases of deaths reported following incidents of hooliganism soon after President Kibaki was announced the winner of the December 27 General Election.

He, however, could not give the exact number of those killed, saying he had not received the data from the ground.

Ali said more police officers had been mobilised and sent to the trouble zones.

Sporadic attacksHe said police had been flown to the Western part of the country to back up those already on the ground in controlling the protests and destructions.The deaths were occasioned either in clashes between police and protesters, or by gangs of attackers who targeted members of some communities.And on Monday, other reports indicated that at least 10 people had been shot dead in Kericho by police.

Among those killed was an officer hit by a bullet fired by his colleague.

Seven other people were killed in Nakuru, six in Rachuonyo, three each in Vihiga and Busia, two each in Bungoma and Kakamega and one in Molo.

There were also reports of violence in parts of Kisii, Kitale, Matunda and Kapenguria.

An officer in one of the affected areas said they had been overwhelmed by the protests, and accused his bosses of not giving them enough support.

The officer said there was heavy looting and destruction and yet he had few officers to help in controlling the rioters.

And in some rural areas in the violence-hit zones, several houses were burnt, property either looted or destroyed for the second day running in protests against the election results.

Among those burnt were several vehicles.

On Monday, the police boss warned that the Government would not tolerate attacks against members of other communities.

An optimistic police boss said: “I know that by next week things will be fine and we will go on with our activities”.

And on Monday, the country was taken by surprise over the move by the ECK commissioners, which was an unprecedented break from the commission’s united voice conveyed by the chairman.

“We need an independent person to look into our activities then we can tell Kenyans what went wrong and what did not,” the commissioners told a press briefing in Nairobi.

The four, however, conceded that they could not revise what had been read but called for a fast process to resolve the dispute and stop bloodshed.

On their part, the domestic election observers said there were serious discrepancies in figures released by the constituency tallying centres and those by ECK at KICC.

“The handling of the results of the polling and the rest of the process thereafter, in our opinion, were questionable,” they said.

Some of the discrepancies and illegalities that local observers noted included:

* Disparities between results released by ECK and those announced by returning officers in some regions like Central, Eastern and Rift Valley.

* Reduction or suppression of results in a significant number of areas.

* Illegal replacement of authentic Form 16A by photocopies, raising the question of authenticity of results.

Kedof also questioned why the ECK chairman accepted results submitted illegally by some returning officers in cases where Form 16A was replaced with photocopies or was tampered with.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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