Celebrations, protests over President Kenyatta win

Tuesday October 31 2017

Jubilee supporters

Jubilee supporters at Mama Ngina Drive, Mombasa County, on October 30, 2017 celebrate the re-election of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as President. In Nasa regions, supporters of the coalition’s leader Raila Odinga staged protests. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Jubilee supporters in the party’s strongholds burst into celebrations last evening soon after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared re-elected by the electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.

In Nasa regions, supporters of the coalition’s leader Raila Odinga staged protests and vowed not to recognise President Kenyatta’s win.

In some places such as President Kenyatta’s Gatundu backyard, and Nyeri town, jubilant supporters poured into the streets, chanting, dancing and praying when it became apparent that he would eventually be declared winner.

In Gatundu, celebrations, dance and prayers characterised the mood hours before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman declared him the winner of the repeat presidential rerun.

And when the announcement was made, the celebrations broke into a carnival.

The residents chanted “Si uchawi ni maombi”, to mean the election was won through prayers, not witchcraft.

In Nyeri, carrying placards and loaves of bread, the supporters shouted, “Hakuna nusu mkate”, implying that they will not accept a power sharing deal.

“We are done with politics and now we know businesses will thrive,” Mr Joseph Mbau, a taxi driver, said.

In Nakuru, hundreds of residents and their leaders poured into the streets with ecstasy.

“We have been in suspense for so long and it’s now time to get back to our daily routines,” Naivasha resident, Sammy Botop, said.

In Narok Town, the celebrations turned tragic after members of two communities living in the area clashed over the celebrations, leaving five people injured.

The situation was the same in Nyandarua, Laikipia, Kericho and Uasin Gishu counties where joyful supporters hit the streets to celebrate.

In Nairobi, groups of supporters marched through the city’s main streets singing and chanting.

In Nyamira, North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko said the storm is over and Nasa should allow Kenyans to go back to their businesses.

However, in the city’s sprawling Kibra slums, youth lit bonfires on the roads to protest the declaration.

As lorries full of police officers arrived to backup their colleagues, the youth told the police to brace for the real battle once Mr Odinga makes his announcement on Tuesday.

“Our leader told us that he will give us direction tomorrow. We are waiting for him to do so.

"For now, the police can rest easy, we have no business with them,” the youths said.

In Mumias, police dispersed Jubilee supporters who had converged at Mumias East Jubilee office to celebrate the victory.

Mumias East sub county commissioner Willy Cheboi said there was likelihood the celebrations would be countered by Nasa supporters and erupt into chaos.

In Kisii, Jubilee leaders from the region told Nasa off over calls for a third round of the presidential poll.

In Kisumu, angry youth held demonstrations in Kondele, the main bus station and Nairobi Road complaining about the 866 votes said to have been cast in Kisumu in the just-concluded repeat presidential poll.

The youth said no elections took place in the region.

They blocked the roads below the Kondele flyover.

They lit bonfires, placed boulders on the road while some used the opportunity to stop vehicles and extort money from innocent motorists.

In Siaya, residents who spoke to the Nation exuded confidence that Kenyans will go for a fresh fair and credible election in 90 days.

“I do not see anything to bug me following Chebukati’s announcement.

"What just happened was a Jubilee nomination process and not a general election as Chebukati claims.

"We are optimistic of a fresh election in 90 days which Raila will win,” a resident said.

Reported by Mary Wambui, David Mwere, Nicholas Komu, Eric Matara, Joseph Openda, George Sayagie, Macharia Mwangi, Lamech Arisa, Waikwa Maina, Reitz Mureithi, Shaban Makokha, Magati Obebo, Rushdie Oudia and Nelcon Odhiambo

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