Demonstrations erupted across Kenya on Monday following the late afternoon announcement of incumbent Vice President William Ruto’s victory in the August 9 presidential election.
At 55, William Ruto was elected in the first round with 50.49% of the vote against 48.85% for Raila Odinga , a historic figure in the opposition supported this year by the government in the East African economy.
While the country had so far remained calm despite the interminable wait for the results, the atmosphere became tense on Monday and the police were massively deployed in certain areas of this country shaken in the past by disputes and post-election violence.
Demonstrations thus broke out in several popular districts of the capital Nairobi, such as Mathare, Kayole and Kibera. Tires were set on fire to block streets in this slum and stronghold of Odinga, where youths threw rocks while others blew vuvuzelas and whistles.
“Baba’s vote ” (“daddy”, in Swahili, the nickname given by his supporters to Raila Odinga) ” has been stolen “, a motorcycle taxi rider, Emmanuel Otieno stated.
In Kisumu (west), another stronghold of the 77-year-old veteran of Kenyan politics, demonstrations broke out and were dispersed by tear gas.
“The government must listen to us. It must reconduct the elections. Raila Odinga must be president,” Isaac Onyango, 24, told AFP, his eyes irritated by the tear gas fired by the police to disperse the crowd.
“We will continue to protest until the Supreme Court of Kenya listens to us ”, he assured in reference to the August 2017 presidential election canceled by the highest court of the country due to “ irregularities ”.
Elsewhere, thousands of Kenyans took to the streets to let their joy explode, such as in Eldoret, in the Rift Valley, to celebrate the victory of the child of the country.
A crowd of several thousand people gathered for hours in front of a giant screen was jubilant the second the words “seven million votes” were spoken.
“It’s a fantastic day! I feel very, very happy, very proud. This country needed a change ,” James Kipror, 32, told the press.
All presidential elections have been contested in the streets or in court since 2002.
In 2007-2008, 1,100 people were killed in the country’s bloodiest episode.
This article was originally published on Naija News