NAIROBI – A human rights organization on Saturday confirmed that at least 24 people, including two minors, had been shot dead during the ongoing post-electoral protests in Kenya.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said at least 17 of them were killed by police in Nairobi between Friday and Saturday as part of a wave of violence that hit the country after supporters of the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection.
KNCHR President Kagwiria Mbogori condemned the police’s excessive use of force and demanded that authorities stop officers from using live ammunition against protesters, denouncing the brutality used as illegal and unacceptable.
She insisted, however, that while several points of the country remained locked in conflicts, the rest had returned to their day-to-day lives.
Meanwhile, NASA spokesman James Orengo claimed that more than 100 protesters had been killed by police, including at least 10 minors, though he did not specify any source for this information.
He said the bodies of those killed were removed from the streets in bags to stop the public from knowing about the so-called massacre.
The Kenyan government earlier on Sunday denied that protests were ongoing across the country and assured that only isolated violent incidents by criminals had been registered.
Acting interior minister Fred Matiang’i said in a press conference that all reports of protests were rumors and lies and insisted that police had reacted appropriately to the so-called criminals.
He said he had no news of any victims or of police officers shooting at demonstrators, because as far as he knew there were no demonstrations.
The minister urged the public to distinguish between peaceful protests, which he assured were protected by the Kenyan constitution, and opportunist criminals.
As the protests continued, police in Kisumu cut access to the city center and security forces in Nairobi’s Kibera suburb launched tear gas against demonstrators and journalists.
Ken Okoth, legislator for the Kibera constituency, told EFE that he did not have time to speak with journalists as “people are dying.”
Rosemary Odiambo, a resident of Kibera, told EFE that shops belonging to people of the Kikuyu tribe, which Kenyatta is a part of, were being torched and looted.
Doctors Without Borders’ Kenya office said they had treated 19 people since Friday night at their Mathare clinic.
On Friday, Kenyatta was declared the victor of Tuesday’s election by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, winning his second term with 54.3 percent of the vote.
The announcement of the final tally was delayed by seven hours and took place without NASA representatives being present, as they were boycotting the presentation after signaling that they would not accept the results.
The NASA had claimed that the IEBC’s electronic vote counting system had been hacked and given Kenyatta a 700,000-point advantage, and therefore urged that their candidate, Raila Odinga, be named president.
In 2007, Odinga also contested the election results, leading to a wave of violence that left at least 1,100 people dead.