// Kenyans kept guessing
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« on: Dec 31, 2007 01:41 PM »


Things are not good here in Kenya.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Kenyans kept guessing

Story by MACHARIA GAITHO
Publication Date: 12/30/2007

The chaotic scenes seen Saturday, violence and mayhem in the streets and angry exchanges at the Electoral Commission briefing room as the announcement of the presidential election results was put off, signalled that if even President Kibaki is finally declared re-elected, it will be a tarnished victory that will do no good at all to his legacy.

He might
ECK boss Mr Samuel Kivuitu (centre) listens to ODM leader Mrs Charity Ngilu (right) as another leader Mr William Ruto addresses the press at KICC yesterday. Photo/ JOSEPH MATHENGE take the oath of office for a second and final term with charges of electoral fraud ringing in his ears, and the danger of widespread violence and instability as protests mount over opposition claims of a stolen election.

Much of the problem centred on two related issues, the inordinate delay by the Electoral Commission of Kenya in releasing presidential results and opposition suspicions over the way in which President Kibaki overnight closed the gap on his main challenger, Mr Raila Odinga, from a seemingly unassailable one million vote margin.

Yet it was impossible at that point to conclude that the election was about to be stolen. Indeed President Kibaki’s supporters were quick to point out that the opposition had signalled an intention to reject the results if they did not go their way. They also pointed out that there were no complaints when Mr Odinga won with massive turnouts in constituencies in his strongholds, yet suspicion was voiced when the President recorded similar results in his own regions.

On Friday, a day after the elections, the Odinga camp was upbeat and ready to declare victory, even asking President Kibaki to concede defeat and start making arrangements for a handover.

By contrast, President Kibaki’s troops - shell-shocked after the mauling they received at the polls which had seen the exit of a record 16 Cabinet ministers, five assistant ministers and scores of key allies even in his Central Kenya strongholds - seemed to have surrendered and accepted the inevitability of defeat.

By late on Friday night, however, the tide had started changing. As presidential results from pro-Kibaki regions, which seemed to have been held back for unclear reasons, started coming in, the gap started closing swiftly, and a shocked opposition began to realise that preparations for a triumphant entry into State House might have to be put on hold.

It was on Friday night that the President’s men started re-assembling in a clear effort to counter the ODM voices which had been dominant in demanding the final results and expressing suspicions of a rigging plot.

Finance Minister Amos Kimunya turned up late in the night on Friday to give extended interviews to TV stations, expressing confidence in a Kibaki victory and dismissing opposition claims about rigging. At that point the President was already closing the gap, and Mr Kimunya stressed that once more results came in from the remaining parts of Central and Eastern provinces, the situation would change in his favour.

Also coming out to express confidence in a Kibaki victory was Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta.

But that time the opposition had started sounding the alarm that something seriously untoward was in the offing, particularly with regard to what they claimed would be inflated presidential votes to come in from those same constituencies Mr Kimunya was talking about.

Early on Saturday morning, senior members of Mr Odinga’s team led by Mr William Ruto, Mr Joseph Nyagah and Mr Henry Kosgey, assembled at the Electoral Commission’s Kenyatta International Conference Centre briefing room to press for the announcement of the final presidential results.

They were countered later in the day by President Kibaki’s people, including Justice Minister Martha Karua and campaign manager George Nyamweya.

There were also rival press conferences, for ODM led by Mr Musalia Mudavadi who gave what they said was the real tally giving Mr Odinga victory and demanding he be sworn in. But the PNU also held their own press conferences led by Livestock Minister Noah Wekesa and Trade Minister Mukhisa Kituyi with their own tally giving President Kibaki victory and similarly demanding that he be declared the winner.

But even as the two sides continued bickering over who was the winner, it was clear that a dangerous situation was developing. By Saturday morning, amidst all the heated disagreements and a situation seeming to spiral out of control and violence being reported in many parts of the country, word started going round that the President’s team was already preparing for a swearing-in ceremony.

This seemed bizarre at a time when the country was threatened with disintegration, and also puzzling that such plans could be in place when the result had not yet been decided and could still swing either way once more constituency results came in.

Away form the street battles which threatened to throw the country into chaos, the other main theatre of activity was the ECK briefing room which became dominated by angry demands from assembled ODM leaders for immediate release of total presidential results even as the commissioners, led by Mr Kivuitu, doggedly insisted on continuing to read returns from constituencies, including parliamentary results which, by then, nobody was interested in.

Amidst all the heated exchanges, with PNU leaders in turn protesting at accusations by the large ODM contingent, it started becoming increasingly clear that President Kibaki was gaining and might even have overtaken Mr Odinga.

Just before Mr Kivuitu finally gave the latest tally from 180 constituencies, the ODM group had changed tack to start demanding suspension of any more announcements of presidential results rather than demanding declaration of the winner.

It was after more heated exchanges on that that the commissioners withdrew from the hall, saying they were going to bring in more results, but eventually sent word that all announcements were suspended for the day while all the results were cross-checked.
 

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 31, 2007 01:45 PM »

Media anger over ban

Mon, December 31, 2007
By JEFF OTIENO
Last updated: 3 hours ago

The media fraternity has asked the Government to unconditionally withdraw its order suspending live broadcasts.

The Media Council and the Media Owners Association described the order as retrogressive and an affront on the freedom of the Press.

At a Press conference held at the Nation Centre, the Media Council chairman Wachira Waruru said the order was difficult to implement under the current conditions.

All news coverage at the top of the hour are broadcast live and call-in programmes on various radio stations are also conducted live.

Mr Waruru warned that if the Government does not review its stand, the media owners shall have no option but to defy the order.

“We are not ready to comply with orders seeking to muzzle the Press. However, we are appealing to the Information Ministry to withdraw the order,” he said.

Officials of the two organisations later met representatives of the Information Ministry to discuss the matter.

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
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Reputation Power: 39
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 31, 2007 01:46 PM »

EU observers doubt presidential result

Mon, December 31, 2007
By NATION Reporter
Last updated: 5 hours ago

The European Union election observers have expressed doubts over the outcome of the presidential race.

A statement this evening from the EU Observer Mission doubted the credibility of the tallying process for the presidential votes.

Here is the full text of the statement:

The Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Member of the European Parliament, issued the following statement about the announcement of the winner of the presidential election in the Republic of Kenya:

“Once again, we would like to commend Kenyan citizens for the strong commitment to peace and democracy that they showed on election day.

With a view to the presidential elections, however, we believe that, at this time, the ECK, despite the best efforts of its chairman, has not succeeded in establishing the credibility of the tallying process to the satisfaction of all parties and candidates.

We regret that it has not been possible to address irregularities about which both the EU EOM and the ECK have evidence. The result for the Molo constituency, for example, was announced in the presence of EU EOM Observers at the constituency tally center as 50.145 votes for President Kibaki, while the ECK today declared the result for the President to be 75.261 votes. Because of this and other observed irregularities, some doubt remains as to the accuracy of the result of the presidential election as announced today.

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
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Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 31, 2007 01:50 PM »

UK says has concerns about Kenyan election

Mon, December 31, 2007
By REUTERS
Last updated: 2 hours ago
LONDON - Britain has real concerns about reported irregularities in Kenya's election and will be discussing the way forward with international partners, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Sunday.

President Kibaki won a second five-year term in a disputed election victory that triggered deadly riots by opposition supporters who accused the government of vote rigging in the former British colony.

"We have real concerns at the irregularities reported by the EU (European Union) observers and others," Miliband said in a statement.

"We call on all Kenya's political leaders and democratic institutions to work together to address those concerns..."

Britain looked forward to working with a "legitimately elected government of Kenya, which commands the support of the Kenyan people...," Miliband said.

"We will be discussing ways forward with our European and other partners in the coming weeks," he said.

The election was a pivotal moment for Kenya and its outcome had to be seen by Kenyans to be fair, Miliband said.

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Halima
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #4 on: Dec 31, 2007 01:52 PM »

Death and chaos after Kibaki win
By NATION Team
Last updated: 4 hours ago

 
Violence continues to rock several parts of the country following the swearing in of President Kibaki for a second five-year term.

At least 19 people have been shot dead in Kisumu, while violence has persisted in Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kuresoi, Molo, Eldoret, Kakamega, Busia, Kisumu, Ahero, Migori, Kericho, Kitale, Lugari and Homabay.

At the same time, Police commissioner Hussein Ali has denied claims that ODM party leader Raila Odinga has been arrested. The commissioner also declared ODM's rally at Nairobi's Uhuru Park illegal.

In a statement faxed to the Nation, the commissioner said contrary to alarming SMS messages being sent around, police do not have custody of either Langata MP-elect Raila Odinga or Eldoret North MP-elect William Ruto.

The grounds have since early morning been surrounded by a heavily armed detachment from the paramilitary General Service Unit.

The police chief asked those aggrieved over the election process to seek redress in the courts, and cease any acts that would incite the public to violence.

Mr Odinga, in a brief comment to reporters this morning, ruled out any negotiation with President Kibaki.

“I don’t recognise Mwai Kibaki as President. The country is in a state of mourning because ODM has been robbed of leadership. Kibaki can only hope to remain in power with the support of the military,” said Mr Odinga.

The ODM leaders are currently locked in a meeting after the police declared their planned rally this afternoon illegal.

Meanwhile, violence continues unabated in several Nairobi estates, including Dandora, Mathare, Kariobangi, Kawangware and Kibera.

Police have cordoned off Uhuru Park. Nobody is allowed inside the park, including news reporters. The GSU and regular police are also stationed on all roads leading to the Kibera slums.

Nairobi city centre is deserted as several shops remain closed. There is heavy police presence and gun shots were heard in parts of the central business district shortly after 11am. In some areas, police are turning away pedestrians from entering the town.

In Kisumu, reporters counted 19 bodies with bullet wounds at the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital’s mortuary. Violence has rocked the lakeside city for the third day in a row.

“The mortuary attendant has confirmed to our reporters that the bodies were brought in from last night,” the Nation bureau chief in Kisumu Julius Bosire said.

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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