8 Killed In Kenya As Odinga Calls For Fresh Poll In 90 Days

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Citizens Await Rerun Poll Results Amid Jittery

Nairobi’s All Share Index Drop By 5.5%

An uneasy calm prevailed in Kenya’s capital Nairobi since the rerun elections, as economic activities have nose-dived in the country.

Local media has continued to report protracted battles between security forces and supporters of the main opposition party challenger, Raila Odinga, who called on his supporters to boycott the rerun election despite a court verdict that ordered a repeat of presidential elections.

According to Bloomberg, opposition leader, Odinga, pulled out of the October 26 rerun, after the electoral commission failed to heed his demands to replace all the staff who oversaw the August 8 election that was annulled by the Supreme Court.

It was reported that voting was disrupted in several opposition strongholds as Odinga’s supporters barricaded roads and hurled pebbles at police who responded by firing teargas and live ammunition leading to the death of about eight people.

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In a telephone conversation on Sunday, Leonard Katana, police commander for the western Nyanza region, where violence forced the delay of election in four districts said “Today is calm, we have no big problems,” .We are slowly going back to normal.”

While preliminary tallies showed President Uhuru Kenyatta leading with 98 percent of the vote, Odinga has rejected the results and called for fresh elections within 90 days.

Charles Kanjama, managing partner at Muma & Kanjama Advocates is of the view that the outcome of the election will most certainly be challenged in court on the grounds of irregularities.

There are speculations that even if Kenyatta hold onto office for a second term, he’ll face a challenge of asserting his authority on the people and will have a herculean task of restoring the battered investor confidence, given that less than half of registered voters cast ballots and no voting occurred at 3,635 of the 40,883 polConfirmingons.

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Confirmimg the implementaion of the boycott called by Odinga, Dismas Mokua, an analyst at Nairobi-based risk advisory firm Trintari, said, “The boycott was a success . “National prosperity has been compromised. The voter turnout de-legitimizes the Uhuru Kenyatta win.”

Meanwhile, Odinga’s National Super AlAlliance is yet to announce what it plans do but has urged its supporters to show restraint. The opposition has previously said it wouldn’t challenge the election outcome in court and it would instead embark on a peaceful defiance campaign.

Seven international observer missions said Kenyan citizens had the right to decide whether they voted or not, and urged them not to break the law.

“It is imperative that the security forces provide protection to all citizens and avoid the excessive use of force. “We call for full accountability of the security agencies for all actions taken that result in injury and loss of life, the Observers stated in an statement.

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The unrest has had its own toll on the economy and the Gross Domestic Product.

Market Jitters, The Kenya Private Sector Alliance, a business lobby group, estimates that the prolonged unrest and uncertainty has already lopped the equivalent of $6.75 billion off the nation’s $71 billion gross domestic product.

Nairobi Securities Exchange All Share Index has also dropped by 5.5 percent since the election outcome was declared in Sept. 1, while the yield on the government’s international bonds due in 2024 has climbed 35 basis points to 6.31 percent.

“Everything is on hold financially and economically in Kenya at the moment,”’ said Robert Besseling, executive director of political risk advisory firm EXX Africa.

“Most investors are convinced that there will be a solution to this eventually but everyone right now is in a holding pattern.”

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Hamilton Nwosa

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