Tag Archives: Kenya elections and violence

Kenya – police says elections will be peaceful in violence-prone counties

Daily Nation

Saturday March 18 2017
Many have died from banditry this year in Baringo County

Police officers escort women and children out of Mukutani centre in Baringo County on March 15, 2017, to a safer area. Many have died from banditry this year. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By JOSEPH OPENDA
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Rift Valley will have peaceful elections despite the current insecurity challenges in some regions, the government has assured.

Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo said security departments have intensified operations to ensure peace prevails before elections.

“Security agencies are ready for the elections. We are working hard to ensure that a repeat of 2007/08 post-election violence does not occur,” Mr Musiambo said on Friday.

He was reacting to the recent banditry attacks in Baringo, adding the police are making a positive progress in curbing insecurity incidences.

According to him, the re-opening of three schools that had been closed due to insecurity was a positive sign.

Parts of Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Pokot and Laikipia counties have been worst hit by insecurity leaving dozens of people dead and scores injured since January.

The most recent attacks happened on Wednesday where 11 people were killed by suspected Pokot bandits who raided Mukutani village in Tiaty.

Most affected were women and children, some who are fighting for their lives in hospitals.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday ordered the deployment of military forces to the troubled North Rift region to help police restore law and order.

 

Kenya – explosion in Nairobi’s Somali-inhabited Eastleigh district

Reuters

An explosion struck a predominantly Somali neighbourhood in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Tuesday, police said.

“There is an explosion that has taken place in Eastleigh, we are still trying to confirm what caused the explosion and whether there are casualties,” Nairobi police chief Moses Ombati told Reuters.

Kenyan authorities have blamed Somali militants and their sympathisers for a wave of grenade and gun attacks in Kenya after Nairobi sent soldiers into neighbouring Somalia in October 2011 to drive out Islamist fighters with links to al Qaeda. reuters

Kenya – seven killed in attack by gunmen on mosque near Somali border

BBC

Dadaab refugee in Kenya - April 2011 North-east Kenya is an arid area and home to the world’s largest refugee camp

 

Seven people have been shot dead in an attack on a mosque in a village in north-eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia, officials have said.

Villagers told the BBC that 10 gunmen opened fire as people were leaving the mosque after early morning prayers.

Five men were killed and then two women who heard shots and came to investigate were also shot dead.

The attack comes less than two weeks before elections in a region where security is a problem.

‘Indiscriminate shooting’

Residents of Malaley 1 village told the BBC nothing was stolen and the gunmen, armed with AK-47 rifles, then fled.

Garissa county commissioner Maalim Mohammed told the AFP news agency that two people were also wounded in the shooting.

“Heavily armed men stormed a mosque and shot at people indiscriminately,” he said.

Map

“The two women had responded to the screams from the mosque when they were shot.”

The village is about 45km (28 miles) north-east of Dadaab refugee camp, which houses some 500,000 people who have fled years of conflict and drought in Somalia.

In the past year, the region has also been prone to attacks blamed on al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist militants in Somalia.

The Somali al-Shabab group vowed to take revenge when Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October 2011 to help the UN-backed government seize territory from the militants.

Banditry is also a problem in the arid and sparsely populated area.

The BBC’s Bashkas Jugsodaay in Garissa, the region’s main town, says tensions are also running high because of the upcoming polls – the first general election since the disputed election of December 2007.

More than 1,000 people died in the violence following that vote and 300,000 people fled their homes.  bbc

Kenya – US President urges Kenya to avoid violence during elections

BBC

Obama urges Kenya to avoid violence as election looms

President Obama’s message to the people of Kenya

US President Barack Obama has urged the people of Kenya, where his father was born, to avoid violence and intimidation in next month’s elections.

He posted the message, which begins with a greeting in Swahili, on YouTube.

He said the polls were a chance for Kenyans to come together to show they were not just members of tribes or ethnic groups, but a proud nation.

Kenya’s disputed presidential election in 2007 descended into violence in which more than 1,000 were killed.

Kenyans head to the polls on 4 March to vote for president and other offices in the first national election since that violence.

“Kenya must reject intimidation and violence and allow a free and fair vote. Kenyans must resolve disputes in the courts, not in the streets,” Mr Obama said in the video message.

“Above all, the people of Kenya must come together before and after the election to carry on the work of building your country,” he added.

The US president’s father was born in Kenya and his step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, still lives in the village of Kogelo.

Barack Obama senior died in a road accident in Kenya in 1982.

President Obama said he had been “greatly moved” by the “warmth and spirit, the strength and resolve of the Kenyan people” during several trips to his father’s homeland and urged Kenyans to mark the 50th anniversary of independence by coming together.  bbc

Kenya – Mau Forest squatters clash with police and forest rangers

Daily Nation

Squatters clash with security officers over orders to vacate forest

  • The standoff comes when the 7,000 settlers in the forest demand to know their fate before the General Election, citing fears of being kicked out by the next government without compensation or resettlement

Security officers have clashed with squatters in the Maasai Mau Forest as the group defied orders to vacate the land.

                

Drama ensued after a contingent of more than 30 police officers and Kenya Forest Service rangers were sent to the area over the weekend to eject a group of more than 300 youths who were clearing the forest.

                

Narok South district commissioner Chimwaga Mongo said the youth started attacking the officers with assorted weapons forcing the officers to retreat in order to avoid an ugly scene

                

Speaking in his office at Ololunga, Mr Mongo said due to the on going political campaigns, a section of politicians were inciting the illegal settlers not to move out of the forest and asking those who left to return.

                

“This group is the one we evicted from the 146,800 hectares in Maasai Mau Forest last year, but they have been incited by a group of politicians,” said the DC.

                

He said the group is part of the settlers removed from Olpusimoru section of the forest last years.

                

Three years ago, the government carried out an exercise to verify the settlers’ title deeds and promised to either resettle or compensate the families. Valuation of the parcels of land was also carried out.

                

The standoff comes when the 7,000 settlers in the forest demand to know their fate before the General Election, citing fears of being kicked out by the next government without compensation or resettlement.

                

A spokesman for the settlers, Mr William Cheruiyot, said nobody in the government was talking about their compensation or resettlement.

                

Chairman of Mau Forest Steering Committee Hassan Noor recently said a Sh3 billion compensation proposal sent to Treasury was still pending.  nati0n

 

Kenya’s make or break election

East African Business Week/allAfrica

Nairobi — Kenya is headed for a make or break general election in less than two months and the economy is showing all characteristics of taking another blow.

Charged political activity in the country has taken toll on the economy as most uncompleted projects may need to wait until after the March fourth elections as donors withhold funding as anxiety over the nature of the general election takes shape.

Government departments are also slowly shutting as the election mood sweeps across the country. Parliament will be officially dissolved in less than a month to give politicians time off for their campaigns.

This is the biggest and most expensive election in Kenyan history given that it is the first one under the new constitution which heralded a County Government. For the first time, instead of the usual three tier government where Kenyans used to choose the local government representative, Member of Parliament and President, they will be choosing six representatives at the same time following the devolved government. The six include President, County Governor, Senator, Member of Parliament, County Representative and Women Representative.

Preparations for the poll are in top gear with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the body that replace the now defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) assuring the public that every measure was in place to ensure a free and fair election general.

Most analysts have pointed out that the growth of the Kenyan economy how at 4.5 per cent will be heavily pegged on the success of the general with most raising the red flag that any form of electoral malpractice or violence could seriously affect ongoing projects and future investment plans.

The World Bank late last year expressed optimism that the economic growth could hit the 5 per cent mark by June if the elections are free and fair.

The post-election violence that followed the 2007 general elections seriously tainted Kenya’s image and took a heavy toll on the economy.

An estimated $100 million was lost in business in addition to over 400 death and hundreds of thousands of internal displacements. The economy that was then growing at 7 per cent took a plunge to an all-time low of 1.7 per cent.

The stakes are high in this election and none other than the main players in the political arena know this best. President Mwai Kibaki is serving is last two months in office with incumbent Prime Minister emerging as a front runner in the presidential race.

His main competitor is former finance Minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenya who is also a key suspect in the 2007 post-election violence. Uhuru and his running mate William Ruto are both undergoing prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.

President Kibaki is hailed as having returned Kenya to the path of economic prosperity and Kenyans are keen on replacing him with a development minded leader.

The overarching tribal card could also surface in the elections with all indications pointing to the fact that the country is as ethnically divided as it was in the run-up to the 2007 general election.

The political frontrunners are mostly expecting majority of their votes from their ethnic backyards and areas perceived as politically friendly.

This election alone will cost the Kenyan taxpayer an estimated $650 million with most of the funds coming from the public coffers and a little coming in from foreign donors.

Sensitive sectors of the economy such as tourism, agriculture and manufacturing will be the most affected by the electioneering period with reports indicating low bookings and bed occupancy in Mombasa which is regards as the bedrock of Kenyan tourism.

The world will be watching closely how Kenya circumvents the electoral process as it will sure make-or-break the Kenyan nation.  allAfrica

 

Kenyan opinion poll shows Raila’s CORD alliance in front

Standard (Kenya)

An opinion poll carried out by Infotrak Harris has placed Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) as the most popular coalition at 49%.

Jubilee alliance is second in popularity with 40%. United Democratic Front comes a distance third with 3%.

The most popular presidential candidate and running mate are Raila-Kalonzo at 51% followed by Uhuru-Ruto at 39%, Mudavadi 3%, Kenneth-Tuju 3%, Karua 0.3% and Kiyiapi 0.1%

 

Daily Nation

Poll: Raila, Kalonzo ticket to clinch presidency

     Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka (left) confers with Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) during the Cord rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on December 22, 2012. The joint ticket of Mr Odinga andMr Musyoka would clinch the presidency if elections were held today, an opinion poll showed January 11, 2013. FILE

            Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka (left) confers with Prime Minister Raila Odinga (right) during the Cord rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on December 22, 2012. The joint ticket of Mr Odinga andMr Musyoka would clinch the presidency if elections were held today, an opinion poll showed January 11, 2013.

The joint ticket of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka would clinch the presidency if elections were held today, an opinion poll shows.

                

The Infotrak and Harris survey released Friday shows the Raila-Kalonzo pairing would win the General Election in the first round with 51 per cent of the vote.

                

The Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto ticket would attract 39pc while Musalia Mudavadi would manage a paltry 3pc.

                

The poll showed that the Raila-Kalonzo fronted Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) is the most popular alliance with an approval rating of 49pc.

                

The Jubilee Coalition, which brings together Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, has a 40pc rating, while Amani that coalesces around Mr Mudavadi’s United Democratic Forum (UDF) and Eugene Wamalwa’s New Ford Kenya stands at 3pc.

                

The Eagle Coalition represented by Peter Kenneth’s Kenya National Congress (KNC) and Raphael Tuju’s Party Of Action (POA) has a 3pc approval rating.

nation