3 people, including 9-yr-old boy shot dead in Kenya election protests (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
At least three people including a nine-year-old boy were killed during protests last night after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the Kenyan election.
The country is on edge after the announcement of the results led to violent demonstrations from supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose claim the vote was rigged prompted demonstrations earlier in the week.
An AFP photographer saw the body of the nine-year-old Steve George whose family said he had been shot in the back while watching the protests from a fourth floor balcony in Mathare, a slum in the capital.
'We have one person killed and four others admitted in hospital with gunshot injuries,' said Dr Ojwang Lusi, the regional health chief in western Kisumu county. A police officer confirmed another death in the southwest town of Siaya.
In Siaya, a police officer speaking on condition of anonymity said a man had been shot dead in protests, but 'we have not managed to collect the body... because of resistance from protesters.'
Angry protests flared in opposition strongholds in Nairobi as well as in Kisumu after the election commission declared Kenyatta the victor in a hotly disputed vote over rival Raila Odinga.
After late night looting and riots, anger remained high this morning, with running battles in the capital's Mathare and Kibera slums.
'My brother was shot and yet he was just standing outside our house where people were demonstrating now he has a bullet injury on the hip,' said Truphena Achieng, at a Kisumu hospital.
However there were also joyous celebrations, some of which also turned deadly. A senior traffic police officer claimed 'there were four people killed when they were hit by vehicles while celebrating.'
While protests were limited to opposition strongholds, they came as a gloomy reminder of a disputed 2007 election which led to two months of ethno-political violence that left 1,100 dead and 600,000 displaced.
All eyes will now turn to Odinga and his reaction to his loss which he claimed was a result of massive rigging of Tuesday's election, which his party denounced as a 'charade' and a ‘disaster'.
Sad! Sad! Sad! Cries of mother will forever haunt the perpetrators @Asamoh_ @C_NyaKundiH @RobertSyundu #StopKisumuKillings pic.twitter.com/RLmmYBKPhF— Erwoti (@erwoti) August 12, 2017
Odinga, 72, is a veteran opposition politician seen as having taken his last shot at the presidency after four unsuccessful runs. He believes elections in 2007, 2013 and now 2017 were snatched away from him.
Amid the anxiety over how the situation would unfold, there was also much joy in Kenyatta's strongholds after he was declared the victor with 54.27 percent to Odinga's 44.74.
'Let Uhuru rule. He is the best leader we have had,' said Simon Kipkoech in the town of Eldoret.
Human Rights Watch today urged police to show restraint in the face of protests.
'With growing reports of demonstrations and heavy gunfire in some areas, it is important for security forces to work to deescalate - not escalate - the violence,' said Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at HRW.
'The police should not use teargas or live ammunition simply because they consider a gathering unlawful.'
Foreign observers praised a peaceful, credible voting process - which saw turnout of 78 per cent - but the mood quickly turned sour when Odinga rejected the results after only a few hours of counting.
The main opposition coalition, the National Super Alliance (NASA), has claimed both that the results were manipulated by a massive hacking attack, and that it is in possession of results being concealed on IEBC servers that show Odinga to be the rightful winner.
On Thursday it demanded Odinga be declared president on these grounds.
NASA on Friday demanded access to the IEBC's servers, saying they would accept any result contained therein, as they remain convinced the commission has released manipulated results.
However despite opposition requests for more time to resolve their concerns, the IEBC went ahead and announced election results amid a NASA boycott.
In 2013 Odinga took his grievances to court and lost.
'We have been there before. Court is not an alternative,' said top NASA official James Orengo.
After being declared the victor, Kenyatta reached out to Odinga and his supporters, to 'work together... so that we can build this nation together’.
'Let us be peaceful... We have seen the results of political violence. And I am certain that there is no single Kenyan who would wish for us to go back to this.’
Odinga had called for calm from his supporters before the announcement, but added: 'I don't control anybody. People want to see justice.'
Six people have died in election-related violence, including two protesters in Nairobi shot dead by police on Wednesday.
In his first term, Kenyatta, 55, was credited with a massive infrastructure drive, however his new government will face the rising debt as a result, and a predicted slowdown in growth from an average of more than five percent in recent years.
A major issue on the campaign trail was a spike in food prices and shortage of the staple maize meal due to a prolonged drought, which has hit the country's poorest hard.
Kenyatta's administration has been dogged by several graft scandals, with the country dropping six points in Transparency International's corruption index in 2016.