Kenya awaits vote results amid violence, hacking allegations

  • A man pulls a burning tire in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, as others block roads with stones to protest in support of Kenyan opposition leader and presidential candidate Raila Odinga, Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017. Kenya's election took an ominous turn on Wednesday as violent protests erupted in the capital and elsewhere after opposition leader Raila Odinga alleged fraud, saying hackers used the identity of a murdered official to infiltrate the database of the country's election commission and manipulate results. (AP Photo/ Brian Inganga) Brian Inganga

  • Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader and presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, demonstrate blocking roads with burning tyres in the Kibera slum area in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017. Odinga says hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated the results. Early results show President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over Odinga. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) Khalil Senosi

  • Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader and presidential candidate Raila Odinga demonstrate in the Kibera area blocking roads with burning tires in Nairobi, Kenya. Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017. Kenyan police opened fire Wednesday to disperse rioters in several areas after presidential challenger Raila Odinga alleged election fraud, saying hackers. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) Khalil Senosi

  • Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader and presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, demonstrate blocking roads with burning tyres in the Kibera slum area in Nairobi, Kenya. Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017. Odinga says hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated the results. Early results show President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over Odinga. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) Khalil Senosi

  • Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader and presidential candidate Raila Odinga demonstrate in the Kibera slum, blocking roads with burning tyres in Nairobi, Kenya. Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017. Odinga says hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated the results. Early results show President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over Odinga. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) Khalil Senosi

  • Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader and presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, block a road with burning tyres in the Kibera slum area of Nairobi, Kenya. Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017. Odinga says hackers infiltrated the database of the country's election commission and manipulated the results. Early results show President Uhuru Kenyatta with a wide lead over Odinga. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) Khalil Senosi

  • Residents react near to the body of a man who had been shot in the head and who the crowd claimed had been shot by police, in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Kenya's election took an ominous turn on Wednesday as violent protests erupted in the capital. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Ben Curtis

  • A man lifts his shirt challenging police to shoot him, near to the body of a man who had been shot in the head and who the crowd claimed had been shot by police, in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Kenya's election took an ominous turn on Wednesday as violent protests erupted in the capital. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Ben Curtis

  • A woman wails and screams at police, near to the body of a man who had been shot in the head and who the crowd claimed had been shot by police, in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Kenya's election took an ominous turn on Wednesday as violent protests erupted in the capital. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Ben Curtis

  • Residents of the Kondele area of Kisumu, Kenya, block roads with stones to protest in support of Kenyan opposition leader and presidential candidate Raila Odinga, Wednesday Aug. 9, 2017. Kenya's election took an ominous turn on Wednesday as violent protests erupted in the capital and elsewhere after opposition leader Raila Odinga alleged fraud, saying hackers used the identity of a murdered official to infiltrate the database of the country's election commission and manipulate results. (AP Photo/ Amos Aura) Amos Aura

  • Residents look through a fence at the scene near to the body of a man who had been shot in the head and who the crowd claimed had been shot by police, in the Mathare area of Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Kenya's election took an ominous turn on Wednesday as violent protests erupted in the capital. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Ben Curtis

  • Residents look on from their balconies as a riot policeman holding a tear gas grenade patrols during disturbances in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Kenya's election took an ominous turn on Wednesday as violent protests erupted in the capital. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Ben Curtis

Published: 8/10/2017 12:51:52 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan police opened fire Wednesday to disperse rioters in several areas after presidential challenger Raila Odinga alleged election fraud, saying hackers used the identity of a murdered official to infiltrate the database of the election commission and manipulate results in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta. At least three people were killed.

As Kenyatta held a strong lead in provisional results with nearly all polling stations counted, election officials were verifying the final tallies. It was unclear how long it would take, though by law election officials have up to a week from Tuesday’s election to announce the results.

Soon after Odinga claimed on television that the election had been rigged, angry protesters in the Nairobi slum of Mathare and poor areas in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu in the southwest burned tires, set up roadblocks and clashed with police.

Two people were shot dead in Nairobi as they took advantage of the protests to loot, Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said. An Associated Press photographer said one was shot in the head. Police killed one person when they opened fire on protesters in another opposition stronghold in Kisii County, said Leonard Katana, a regional police commander.

Many parts of Kenya, East Africa’s commercial hub, were calm a day after the elections for president and more than 1,800 other posts down to the county level.

But the violence stirred memories of the unrest that followed the 2007 vote in which more than 1,000 people were killed. Odinga lost that election; he also lost the 2013 vote to Kenyatta and took allegations of vote-tampering to the Supreme Court, which rejected his case.

Odinga, a former prime minister, blamed Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party for the alleged hacking of the election database.

“The fraud Jubilee has perpetuated on Kenyans surpasses any level of voter theft in our country’s history. This time we caught them,” he tweeted. He also posted online what he said were computer logs proving his allegation.

Odinga claimed that hackers used the identity of Christopher Msando, an election official in charge of managing information technology systems. On July 31, officials announced that Msando had been tortured and killed, alarming Kenyans who feared a recurrence of political violence fueled by ethnic divisions.

A Tuesday morning entry in the purported computer logs that Odinga posted on Facebook reads: “Login failed for user ‘msando’. Reason: The password of the account must be changed.”

Rafael Tuju, a top official in Kenyatta’s party, said the opposition’s claims were unfounded, and Kenya’s election commission said it will investigate Odinga’s allegations.

In the city of Kisumu, police used tear gas and shot at protesters who were upset after Odinga’s fraud allegations, said demonstrator Sebastian Omolo.

“He is not accepting the results and that is why we are on the streets, but police have started shooting,” Omolo said.

Kisumu shopkeeper Festus Odhiambo said he was praying for peace even as protesters blocked roads into city slums with bonfires and boulders.

The western port city on Lake Victoria has been a flashpoint in past elections.

Kenya’s interior minister, Fred Matiangi, warned against the use of social media to stoke tensions. Officials have said it was unlikely they would shut down the internet but said they might shut down some social media if necessary to calm hate speech and incitement.

“We assure Kenyans and all residents, the country is safe,” said Matiangi. “I urge everyone to go on freely with their daily chores.”




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