Public Radio International
Katie G. Nelson
Violent demonstrations erupted across Nairobi Wednesday afternoon, just one day after Kenyans elected their next president.
Wednesday’s protests were fueled by ethnic and political divisions between longstanding rivals President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition party candidate Raila Odinga.
Elections officials have yet to announce an official winner of the contentious race — a delay that has added to suspicions of voting rigging and instigated protests around the East African nation. Unofficial results, however, point to a decisive victory for Kenyatta.
Kenyan police teargassed protesters in the western region and shot dead two in in the capital Wednesday afternoon.
This is Odinga’s fourth and likely final attempt to take the presidency. In 2007, he ran and lost against Mwai Kibaki, setting off a fire of ethnically motivated killings that left as many as 1,500 people dead. Many feared similar violence after this election, though so far things have been more muted.
The stakes are high in Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi and opposition party stronghold. There, accusations of vote rigging and election fraud are common, leaving the large population of unemployed, young men angry at the seemingly skewed political process.
For them, this is not just another election. It is a continuation of injustice and marginalization by tribal identity.
They say they have nothing else to lose. “It is our time to eat,” they said.