JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 14 – Opposition leader Raila Odinga is to announce his post-election strategy on Tuesday, following his claims that the Kenyan election was stolen from him – as violence continues to claim lives in the East African country.
Odinga, who leads the National Super Alliance, is disputing the election results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Friday by the that heavily favoured incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.
As many as 20 people have died in the violence since Friday night, including an eight-year-old girl, as Odinga’s supporters rioted in bloody confrontations with Kenyan security forces.
Calling for his supporters to stay at home and not go to work, Odinga vowed to continue his campaign against last week’s election result which saw Kenyatta win a second five-year presidential term by a margin of 9 percent.
“We had predicted they will steal the election and that’s what happened. We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action which I will announce the day after tomorrow,” he told a heaving crowd of supporters in Nairobi’s largest slum, Kibera, the French news agency (AFP) reported on Sunday.
“But for now I want to tell you not to go to work tomorrow (Monday).”
As he addressed the crowds Kibera residents climbed on to roof tops and hung off trees in a desperate bid to see the opposition leader who was speaking for the first time since his political nemesis President Uhuru was declared the victor on Friday in a poll Odinga says was heavily rigged.
Following the announcement of Uhuru’s victory protests broke out in western Kenya and in the slums of Kibera and Mathare.
“This is a failed regime that is resorting to killing people instead of addressing the real issue. The vote was stolen. There’s no secret about that,” said Odinga.
His inflammatory comments followed calls from the international community for Odinga to calm his supporters.
Despite these calls opposition officials have repeatedly called the elections a “fraud” and claimed that Odinga was the “legitimate” winner.
Fears of a repeat of post-election violence were raised several months ago following Odinga claiming rigging during the 2007 elections, which also prompted rioting, and retaliation by security forces, which sparked some of the worst ethnic violence in Kenya in years, leaving 1,200 people dead.
However, a local election observer group, ELOG, which deployed 8,300 observers and conducted a parallel tallying operation, determined that Kenyatta had won with 54 percent – the same figure given by the electoral commission.