Saturday 18 August 2018

Three die in Kenya violence as Kenyatta sworn in again

Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn in during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi (AP)
Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn in during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi (AP)

Tom Odula

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been sworn in for a second term in what some hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, but violence continued with at least three people killed as police opened fire at a large opposition gathering.

During and after Mr Kenyatta's inauguration in Nairobi, officers elsewhere in the capital tried to stop the opposition from holding peaceful demonstrations to mourn dozens killed by police and militia since the original August election.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who was shoved into his vehicle amid clouds of tear gas shortly after he called Mr Kenyatta's presidency illegitimate, put the death toll at three.

Striking

Associated Press video showed a crowd fleeing amid the sound of gunfire, and helmeted security forces striking unarmed people with batons. A witness, Isaac Mekenye, said a seven-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet as police chased opposition supporters in the low-income area of Pipeline.

The president, speaking to a cheering crowd at a city stadium, earlier said the past few months had been "a trying time" which had stretched the country "almost to the breaking point".

He called for an end to hate and division, and again criticised the Supreme Court's nullification of his August election win, saying: "Despite... being told that the processes matter more than your vote, we complied."

He added that the court, whose justices he once called "crooks" for their ruling, acted with independence, and recent events show "our constitution is no piece of paper".

Irish Independent

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