Monday, December 31, 2007

SCORES DEAD IN KENYA POLL CLASHES !

There has also been violence in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Violent protests
Scores of people have been killed across Kenya in violence blamed on the disputed presidential election. A BBC reporter has seen 43 bodies with gunshot wounds in a mortuary in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu. A witness said police shot protesters. There have been running battles in Nairobi slums. The local KTN television station says 124 have died nationwide. President Mwai Kibaki has been declared the winner but Raila Odinga says he was robbed of victory by election fraud.

See how the vote was split around the country

There have been violent clashes in slums in the resort town of Mombasa and several other towns around the country.

'Bodies laid out on floor'
'I chartered a plane to flee'
Tension rises after polls

The AFP news agency quotes police as saying that 40 people have been killed in Nairobi. There have been running battles in the slum of Kibera, between police firing live rounds and teargas and protesters armed with clubs and machetes. Large numbers of paramilitary police have been put on stand-by by the government.

In other developments:
European Union election observers have raised doubts about the officially announced results
The government has banned live broadcasts linked to the election
The police have banned a planned alternative inauguration ceremony to be held in central Nairobi for Mr Odinga
The police have urged people to stay away from central Nairobi
Mr Odinga said there was no difference between Mr Kibaki and "military dictators who have seized power through the barrel of the gun"
Those killed in Kisumu include two women and three children, reports the BBC's Noel Mwakugu.
An eye-witness told him that police fired indiscriminately, even after the protesters started running away in the Kisumu suburbs of Manyatta and Nyamasira.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

Mwai Kibaki (pictured): 4,584,721 votes
Raila Odinga: 4,352,993
Kalonzo Musyoka: 879,903

Local police chief Grace Kahindi said she had no knowledge of any deaths. A daytime curfew (0600-1800 local time, 0300-1500 GMT) has been imposed in the town. "Police have been ordered to shoot violators," an unnamed senior police official told AFP. There have also reports of trouble in Bungoma, Busia, Eldoret, Kericho and Kakamega. The violence was stoked by opposition claims that the results were rigged. Some of the violence has taken an ethnic dimension. The Luo community are seen as pro-Odinga, while the Kikuyus are seen as supporters of Mr Kibaki. AFP reports that supporters of the president have been celebrating in the streets of towns in the Central Province - Mr Kibaki's home region.

Results changed
The police have cordoned off Nairobi's Uhuru Park, where Mr Odinga's supporters had planned to hold a rival swearing-in ceremony. The police have warned officials of Mr Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement they will be arrested if they turn up. Chief EU election observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff told the BBC that his monitors had been barred from counting centres in the Central Province. He also said that results from one constituency had been declared by the Electoral Commission of Kenya in Nairobi, which were different from those announced in the same constituency at local level.

He said the anomalies amounted to 20,000-25,000 votes in just one constituency.Mr Kibaki's national margin of victory was 230,000 votes. "I myself have seen forms which have been changed and no-one could tell me who had done the changes," he said. "Interestingly enough, all the changes favoured the same candidate." Elections chief Samuel Kivuitu has admitted some problems, including a reported voter turnout of 115% in one constituency, reports the AP news agency.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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