NAIROBI (Bloomberg)–Kenya’s main opposition said state security forces killed more than 100 people in clashes related to this week’s disputed elections. The authorities said they had no knowledge of any deaths and that the country remains largely peaceful.
Displaying a handful of spent cartridges at a briefing on Saturday in the capital, Nairobi, Senator Johnstone Muthama of the National Super Alliance said the police are using a shoot-to-kill-policy against its supporters, whose corpses are being taken away in body bags. Senator James Orengo, another alliance leader, said elite paramilitary units carried out the killings in three city slums, as well as in Siaya, Homa Bay and Kisumu in western Kenya.
“The violence being meted out on these defenseless citizens in their residential neighborhoods is intended to subjugate the will of the people and Nasa into submission,” Muthama said, using the acronym for the alliance. “We will not be cowed. We will not relent.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner late Friday of an Aug. 8 vote the electoral commission said was free and fair. Nasa said the commission’s computer system was hacked to rig the results and warned that its supporters would rise up in response.
Kenya elections have routinely been marred by violence since the country became a multiparty democracy in 1991. At least 1,100 people died in the wake of a disputed 2007 vote that Raila Odinga lost to Mwai Kibaki, and about 350,000 people were forced to flee their homes.
Protracted turmoil could derail an economy that’s grown an average of 5.7 percent a year since Kenyatta took power in 2013, and threaten its reputation as a top African investment and tourist destination. The country is the world’s largest exporter of black tea and a regional hub for companies including Google Inc. and General Electric Co.
Protesters spilled onto the streets of several of Nairobi’s slums, including the southwestern areas of Kibera and Kawangware, soon after the election outcome was announced, setting dwellings alight and looting shops, as police used teargas to disperse them. There were also protests in Kisumu, an opposition stronghold, where the Associated Press reported two people were killed.
The unrest had abated in Kawangware by Saturday morning, residents said.