Kenya in flames over 'stolen election'

As black smoke billowed from the slums of Nairobi, Kenya was plunged into widespread rioting last night after President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner in elections that observers claim were stolen.

Days of tension gave way to angry scenes as international observers were locked out of the final count and the 76-year-old incumbent confounded early results from Thursday's voting to cling on to power.

At least a dozen people were killed as violence erupted and thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets in the Nairobi slum, Kibera, and the western city of Kisumu. Riots were also reported in Ongata Rongai, Kakamega, the Eastlands district of Nairobi, and Kisii.

Within minutes of the official result, Mr Kibaki was sworn in at a hasty ceremony at State House. While observers and opposition leaders complained of a fix, the President insisted the election had "raised Kenya's democratic profile throughout the world" and set a "good example to the rest of the continent".

The beaten opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who appeared for much of the weekend to be on course for the presidency, accused the electoral commission of "doctoring" the results. "Kibaki has flooded this commission with his cronies and they are putting pressure on the chairman of the commission to announce fraudulent results," he said.

President Kibaki appointed 19 of the 21 electoral commissioners earlier this year. One of the new commissioners is Mr Kibaki's personal lawyer.

International election observers were locked out of the tallying rooms as counting dragged into an unprecedented third day. "They are cooking the books," said one Western observer who had been barred entry.

Koki Mulli, the head of the Institute of Education in Democracy, said: "This is the saddest day in the history of democracy in this country. It is a coup d'etat. It is not about who wins, it is about the legitimacy and the credibility of the process."

Election monitors said the counting process had not been credible. "We have doubts regarding the accuracy of the results," said the chief EU observer, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff.

The opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) claimed there were irregularities in 48 out of the 210 constituencies. In some constituencies the results announced bore little resemblance to those read out in regional tallying centres.

In Molo consitutency, where European Union observers were present, Mr Kibaki won 55,145 votes. When Samuel Kivuitu, head of the electoral commission, announced the result, it had shot up to 75,261. In Kangara, the number of votes for Mr Kibaki rose from 33,835 to 70,443. In Juja it more than doubled from 48,293 to 100,390.

In London, the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said Britain had "real concerns" about the result. Mr Miliband tried to speak to Mr Kibaki several times during the day but Mr Kibaki's handlers refused to accept the call.

The announcement of the results by Mr Kivuitu descended into farce as opposition leaders tried to shout him down. Sat in front of a banner proclaiming "free and fair elections", he began to read out results from the disputed constituencies. As ODM leaders arrived they were engulfed in a mêle and one senior party member was hit over the head with a baton by a policeman.

Dozens of paramilitary police officers armed with machine guns and 3ft-long wooden poles moved in and Mr Kivuitu was whisked out. He called on Mr Odinga to take his case to the courts. The High Court in Nairobi has yet to hear cases arising from disputed results from the 2002 election.

"This has taken us back 15 years," said Maina Kiai, chairman of the Kenya National Human Rights Comission, referring to Kenya's first flawed attempt at multi-party elections in 1992. "It is a crying shame. It is very, very painful. This is like Nigeria for crying out loud."

Blogs from the people of Kenya

* Tears are rolling down my eyes as I'm writing this. It is a sad day for Kenya when millions of first-time young voters have had their voice ignored. How do you tell these people their vote matters in 2012?

Kenyan Pundit

* I have just been watching Kibaki being sworn in, amid applause from his cabal. As I sit here in my room, sick to my stomach, and hear the breaking glass outside my house, I ask myself, "What have they done?"

Thinker's Room

* Those who did not know the true character of Mwai Kibaki now do. Moi was better as he handed over power peacefully. One would expect this kind of behaviour from a young President like Kabila of Congo, rather than from this grandfather of almost 80 years old.


* I stated that, "once the vote has been placed in the ballot box it is next to impossible to do something dodgy." Perhaps I spoke to soon.

Daudi Were

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments