Tag Archives: Kenyan

Kenyan opposition leader Odinga abandons poll re-run

Kenyan opposition leader Odinga abandons poll re-runKenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew Tuesday from a re-run of the presidential election in the latest twist to a political saga that has plunged the nation into uncertainty. Odinga, 72, said he was pulling out because Kenya’s election panel had failed to make vital reforms — but he indicated this did not mean his battle was over. The Supreme Court stunned the nation last month when it annulled the August 8 election victory by President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing what it called widespread irregularities in the counting process.

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Arson caused fire at Kenyan school that killed nine girls: minister

Arson caused fire at Kenyan school that killed nine girls: ministerBy John Ndiso and Katharine Houreld NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s education minister said on Monday that arson was to blame for a weekend fire that killed nine pupils at a girls’ boarding school and that there had been similar attacks on other schools around the country. More than 120 schools around the country were set on fire last year, according to research by a Canadian professor. Minister Fred Matiang’i said some arson attacks had been related to fights over staff appointments in schools, where senior positions can bring financial rewards.

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Kenyan president, election overturned by court, attacks judiciary

Kenyan president, election overturned by court, attacks judiciaryBy Maggie Fick NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Saturday the country has “a problem” with its judiciary that must be fixed. Kenyatta, however, also repeated his message from Friday that he would respect the court’s ruling. The decision to annul the election was an unprecedented move in Africa where governments often hold sway over judges — and the first time on the continent that a court ruled against the electoral victory of an incumbent.

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Kenyan court throws out president's win, calls for new vote

Kenyan court throws out president's win, calls for new voteNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election victory last month was thrown out Friday by Kenya's Supreme Court, which ordered new voting within 60 days in a stunning decision that plunged the East African country back into political chaos.

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Kenyan court overturns presidential election after ruling it was marred by 'illegalities'

Kenyan court overturns presidential election after ruling it was marred by 'illegalities'Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, denounced the country’s supreme court as “crooks” in the pay of whites on Friday after it struck a stunning blow for judicial independence in Africa by nullifying his recent re-election. Ruling that Mr Kenyatta’s victory in the Aug 8 vote was marred by “irregularities and illegalities”, the court ordered a fresh vote to be held within 60 days, the first time judges have ever overturned an incumbent president’s victory in an African election. Robed in red and black, the six judges on the bench upheld a petition by Mr Kenyatta’s challenger Raila Odinga, whose claim that systematic fraud had denied him victory was ridiculed by Western observers, who portrayed him as a sore loser. The loser of four elections, all of them tarnished by allegations of impropriety, Mr Odinga was in court to savour his moment of triumph, allowing himself a smile as the chief justice, David Maraga, delivered his momentous ruling. “The presidential election held on August 8 was not conducted in accordance with the constitution and applicable law, rendering the results invalid, null and void,” Mr Maraga told the courtroom, as he read out the four-to-two majority ruling. Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected Kenyan President in August Credit: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters Outside the building, as well as in slums across the capital Nairobi and in Mr Odinga’s strongholds in western Kenya, the crowds erupted in disbelieving joy. Celebrations in downtown Nairobi after a re-election is called Credit: BAZ RATNER/Reuters Three weeks ago, many of the same people had been running for their lives as police used live fire to crush protests triggered by the electoral commission’s official declaration of Mr Kenyatta’s victory. At least 28 people were killed by the police, including a six-month old baby beaten into a coma from which she never recovered and a teenager hauled out from under his bed and bludgeoned to death in front of his parents. But on Friday, the police seemed bewildered and unsure of themselves, briefly advancing on jubilant opposition supporters, chanting and waving branches on the streets outside the court, before retreating again and eventually disappearing altogether. “We expected the worst and have been given the best,” said Japheth Onyango, a mechanic, as he joined the celebrations. “We have been vindicated and justified. The oppression of Kenya’s people has been ended by the stroke of a pen.” Opposition leader Raila Odinga smiles and waves to a crowd of his supporters as he leaves the Supreme Court in downtown Nairobi Credit: Ben Curtis/AP “People are just so, so happy,” added Dorothy Mwangale, a cleaner, beaming uncontrollably, tears brimming in her eyes. The mood was in stark contrast to the sullen silence of the president’s supporters, who had also gathered publicly to celebrate what they believed would be confirmation of his victory. Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga cheer outside court  Credit: BAZ RATNER/Reuters The disbelief was also etched on the president’s face itself.  Although he agreed to respect the ruling, Mr Kenyatta also upbraided the court saying: “Six people decided to go against the will of the people”. Later, addressing supporters in Nairobi’s Burma Market, the president’s bitterness became even starker as he claimed his victory had been taken away from him by the chief justice “and his crooks”. “This story of theirs is being paid by whites and other trash,” he said, before appearing to threaten the court. “First we say we agree and accept … but they know that we are also men. “Let them wait for us after the election.” Police watch the cheering crowd outside the court in Nairobi Credit: BAZ RATNER/Reuters The court absolved the president of any involvement in any electoral fraud, laying the blame on the electoral commission for the opaque manner in which it conducted the count. Although a detailed ruling is yet to be released, it is likely that the deciding factor was the failure by a quarter of polling stations to submit adequate supporting documentation for the results they filed to the electoral commission. Mr Odinga welcomed the ruling as “precedent setting”, but immediately plunged the new election into uncertainty by demanding the dissolution and replacement of the electoral commission. Police guard the Supreme Court building in Kenya amid the ruling Credit: Ben Curtis/AP “We have no faith at all in the electoral commission as currently constituted,” he said outside the court. “They have committed criminal acts. Most of them belong in jail.” Mr Odinga initially refused to mount a court challenge, arguing that the supreme court had proved itself a subservient tool of the executive after it rejected his petition five years ago to overturn Mr Kenyatta’s first election victory. Deadly clashes sweep Kenya after election hacking claims 01:31 He capitulated only under international pressure after observers said they believed the election was credible.  John Kerry, the former American secretary of state and leader of one observer mission, called on Mr Odinga to concede as graciously as he had done following his defeat to President George W Bush in 2004. Whatever the consequences of its decision, the supreme court has made legal and political history in Africa by making a ruling once believed unthinkable – one that could embolden other courts on the continent to follow suit. When Mr Maraga became chief justice last year, he was little known and some observers questioned whether he had the stature and independence to stand up to Kenya’s ruling elite. While his ruling will be debated for many years, Mr Maraga will be seen to have banished the equivocal reputation that long surrounded Kenya’s judiciary, establishing its authority as a genuinely independent and fearless arbiter over political disputes. Kenya's dollar bonds, shilling fall after court nullifies election #SupremeCourtDecides#shilling#forex#Kenyahttps://t.co/nUco0V1d3qpic.twitter.com/3vvFvJtQNr— John Ndiso (@johnalyst) September 1, 2017 Political unrest in Kenya as opposition challenges election result, in pictures

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Kenyan court scraps presidential vote, Kenyatta pledges to return to polls

Kenyan court scraps presidential vote, Kenyatta pledges to return to pollsBy Maggie Fick and George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win citing irregularities and ordered a new poll within 60 days, a rare move in Africa where judicial power is often seen as an extension of government. Kenyatta called for calm and respect for the ruling, while Odinga’s cheering supporters paraded in the streets of his western Kenyan heartland. Last month’s election results sparked protests and sporadic violence that killed at least 28 people.

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Kenyan girl shot dead as post-election anger boils

Kenyan girl shot dead as post-election anger boilsBy Humphrey Malalo NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s main monitoring group backed the official result of this week’s ballot on Saturday as opposition anger at the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta erupted in the western city of Kisumu and slums ringing the capital, leading to two deaths. In Nairobi, a young girl was shot dead by police firing “sporadic shots” at protesters in Mathare, a witness said. The run-down neighbourhood is loyal to opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose party has rejected the results of Tuesday’s vote as a “charade”.

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Kenyan voting official found dead as opposition cries foul ahead of general election

Kenyan voting official found dead as opposition cries foul ahead of general electionKenya’s opposition said it had abandoned all hope of a free and fair general election next week after a key official responsible for protecting the vote from electronic manipulation was found dead. The apparent murder of Chris Msando, the electoral commission’s acting technology director, raised fears that an already acrimonious poll could be marred by the type of violence that killed 1,300 people in Kenya ten years ago. Two days after Mr Msando’s disappearance, colleagues at the commission said they had formally identified his battered body after finding it at a mortuary in the capital Nairobi.  Wafula Chebukati, the commission’s chairman, said it was clear that Mr Msando “had been tortured” before his death. There were injuries to the dead man’s head, back and belly, deep cuts on both hands and one arm appeared to be broken, according to witnesses who saw the corpse. Unidentified relatives of Chris Musando, cry after seeing his body at the city mortuary, in Nairobi With tension already mounting ahead of next Tuesday’s election, Mr Msando’s death could undermine the credibility of the result even though there is as yet no proof to link the killing to the vote. Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, has already repeatedly accused Uhuru Kenyatta, the president, of trying to rig the vote in order to secure a second five-year term.  Salim Lone, Mr Odinga’s spokesman, said that the killing had removed the “one last hope” of an honest election. “It is unbelievable,” he said. “It shows that those who want to subvert this election will stop at nothing to achieve their goal and they do not care if Kenyans know what they are doing.” Mr Msando held the encryption codes that ensured the integrity of results transmitted from polling stations to the electoral commission’s central headquarters.  Were the codes to be compromised, the results could potentially be tampered with — although observers also said that any such fraud would be quickly identified. Campaign posters of candidates for the role of local representative are seen on a water tank in the Barut ward, Nakuru Credit: REUTERS Mr Msando had only recently been appointed to the post after the suspension of his predecessor, James Muhati, who was accused by auditors of impeding them from assessing electronic systems. In a country deeply divided by tribal animosities, suspicions have been further fuelled by the ethnicity of the two men. Mr Muhati is a Kikuyu, like the president, while Mr Msando is a Luhya, an ethnic federation that mostly supports the opposition. The death is the latest in a series of mysterious killings blamed — not always credibly, critics say — by the opposition on the government.  Mr Kenyatta, who holds a narrow advantage in opinion polls, has accused his rival of making unsubstantiated claims and has persistently denied any plan to rig the election. Nonetheless Kenya has a history of questionable elections. The most dubious was in 2007 which led to widespread ethnic violence after a badly flawed poll saw Mr Odinga beaten into second place. Amid fears of a repeat, some people — particularly Mr Msando’s fellow Luhyas — have begun fleeing slums in Nairobi for the countryside.

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British father of two shot dead at Kenyan ranch

British father of two shot dead at Kenyan ranchBy Katharine Houreld NAIROBI (Reuters) – A British man was shot dead in northern Kenya on Sunday at a private ranch in the Laikipia area, two of the man’s neighbors said, and a legislator warned that local politicians were stoking violence as elections approach. There have been numerous attacks in the drought-stricken region of Laikipia in recent months as armed cattle herders searching for scarce grazing have driven tens of thousands of cattle onto private farms and ranches. The most recent victim was Tristan Voorspuy, a father of two and a British cavalry veteran who ran a company called Offbeat Safaris.

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Text young Kenyan women about sex to boost HIV testing – experts

By Kieran Guilbert DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Texting young women in Kenya with regular information about sex, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases could encourage more to get tested for HIV in a country where stigma surrounding the virus is rife, researchers said on Wednesday. Some 600 female college students in Kenya received monthly text message surveys about their sexual behavior, and half were also sent weekly messages about HIV prevention, for a recent study by medical researchers and mobile research firm mSurvey. Two-thirds of the 300 women who were sent the weekly texts said they got tested for HIV within six months of the study, while among those who received the monthly surveys, only half reported going to be tested for the virus, the study found.
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