ASKiNGRADiO.com | News | Nairobi, Kenya | Oct 26
At least three people were shot dead today in clashes over Kenya’s election re-run, prompting officials to delay the vote in four counties as the country’s worst political crisis in a decade deepened.
The bloodshed stained Kenya’s second presidential election in three months, worsening a fractious ballot that has been boycotted by opposition leader Raila Odinga and polarised east Africa’s flagship democracy.
Two of the deaths occurred as protests raged in opposition strongholds in the west of the country, while the third person died in a Nairobi slum where clashes erupted between demonstrators and police.
The casualties raised to 43 the tally of people killed in election-related violence since the August election victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta, which was later overturned by the Supreme Court, prompting today’s re-run.
As voting drew to a close, election chief Wafula Chebukati made a televised address, saying the ballot would be postponed until Saturday in four protest-hit counties in the country’s west: Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Siaya.
The move, he said, was due to “security-related” challenges.
As Odinga’s supporters hit the streets, others went to the polls to cast their ballots.
As voting headed to a close, police and hospital sources confirmed three people had been shot dead and at least 24 wounded, 11 of them by live rounds.
At Jaramogi hospital in Odinga’s western stronghold of Kisumu, an AFP correspondent saw several people arriving covered in blood.
“This is crazy, they are shooting at us — we are demonstrating and they shoot us!” said Samuel Okot, 20, who was sitting with his friend Joseph Ouma who had been shot in the knee and was howling in pain.