The loser in recent presidential elections in Kenya Raila Odinga has vowed he would not remain silent in the face of what he describes as rigged vote results and says supporters should skip work until he makes a major announcement on more anti-government actions.
Odinga told a heaving crowd of supporters in Nairobi on Sunday that he will not give up his claims that the presidential elections on August 8 was rigged in favor of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying he would announce his strategy for more actions on Tuesday.
“We had predicted they will steal the election and that’s what happened. We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action which I will announce the day after tomorrow,” he said in an address to people in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum which has seen widespread clashes between opposition supporters and police forces since Kenyatta was announced the victor Friday.
Odinga said the supporters would better stay away from work at least for Monday until he makes his announcement. “But for now I want to tell you not to go to work tomorrow (Monday),” he said. The opposition leader, which has lost two previous attempts to become president, condemned police for what he branded as indiscriminate killing of opposition supporters during post-election unrest.
“This is a failed regime that is resorting to killing people instead of addressing the real issue. The vote was stolen. There’s no secret about that,” he said, adding that there was “a plot to kill our supporters”.
Reports have indicated that 24 people have been killed since the election. The government has put the toll at 16. Most of the casualties have been reported in Kibera, Mathare, another Nairobi slum, and in Odinga’s strongholds in western Kenya. Police has repeatedly fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the rioters.
Kenya’s election commission has rejected allegations that the vote was rigged and says its voting process was fair. The international community has called on Odinga to calm his protesters and seek legal channels to prove his allegations.
The post-election riots are reminiscent of violence that erupted in 2007 following another disputed presidential vote involving Odinga. More than 1,000 people were killed in that episode of unrest, heavily tarnishing the image of Kenya as one of Africa’s most prosperous economies.