Kenya: 37 killed in post-election violence

NAIROBI:Thirty-seven people — including three children — were killed in violence that followed the announcement of Kenya’s Aug. 8 general election results, a human rights group announced in a new report released Monday.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) released the 261-page report dubbed “Mirage at Dusk” on Kenya’s contested Aug. 8 elections amid daily anti-electoral protests by opposition supporters.

The report indicates that most deaths were carried out in opposition strongholds and it adds most were caused by police who used excessive force on protesters who were contesting results that gave Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta a win, and subsequently another term in office.

“The Commission documented thirty-seven (37) lives lost in the three-day unrest. The dead included a six 6-month-old baby who was clobbered by armed security agents whilst under the care of its mother in Kisumu County [in western Kenya]. Other deaths were attributed to police using live bullets and a few from police bludgeoning using clubs,” said part of the report read out to the Media by KNCHR chairwoman Kagwiria Mbogori.

As Kenyans gear up for the Oct. 26 presidential election re-run, the report called on the government to aid dozens more who are still recuperating in hospitals and at home with varied degrees of injuries as documented in the report. It adds that many more who were injured are languishing in silence in their homes for fear of being identified.

The protests worsened after Kenya’s former Prime Minister Raila Odinga — Kenyatta’s main opponent — claimed that the Aug. 8 polls were rigged prompting more opposition supporters to protest in the streets calling for justice.

Kenya’s Supreme Court later annulled the elections after Odinga filed a petition in court. The court said mass irregularities and illegalities took place during the voting, recording, and transmission of results.

Meanwhile, one man was shot and injured in the leg and three others were plowed down by a speeding SUV vehicle sustaining life-threatening injuries in more anti-electoral protests by opposition supporters that rocked the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

“They are planning to kill us, they drove over our friends and shot one man in the leg, the man who shot the protester entered the same vehicle that drove over our people,” a witness told Anadolu Agency.

The videos of the incident went viral on social media eliciting various reactions from agitated Kenyans who demanded to know who the person was and his motive.

Police shot in the air and use tear gas to disperse crowds that had gathered at Uhuru Park in Nairobi to contain a section of the protesters who were throwing stones at them.

Kenyans are due to head to the polls again on Oct. 26 to elect their president.