Aug 20, 2017 Last Updated 2:22 PM, Aug 18, 2017
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 A Kenya police monitor has begun investigating at least 28 deaths following last week's disputed elections, and investigators already attended the autopsies of a young girl and a baby allegedly killed by the police, officials said on Thursday.

Parents of a six-month-old Samantha Pendo said she was tear-gassed and battered by police who invaded their home.

The government-funded but civilian-run Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) is fast-tracking investigations of all deaths and injuries attributed to the police following the elections, its head, Macharia Njeru, told Reuters in an interview.

"Investigation teams have already started work," Njeru said. "All the post mortems that are being carried out on anybody who may have died ... we are attending."

Protests broke out after the election board announced that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta had won by 1.4 million votes. Opposition leader Raila Odinga disputes the figure and on Wednesday announced he is taking his case to the Supreme Court.

Deaths the police watchdog is investigating that are linked to the elections include individual complaints, those reported by police and those referred to them by human rights organisations.

Njeru declined to give a total, saying they were still gathering details.

But the government-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said on Wednesday that at least 28 people had been killed in violence nationwide since the August 8 elections. All were shootings they believed were linked to the police, said George Morara Monyocho, vice chairman of the commission.

"We forwarded all the cases to IPOA," he said. "Our investigators have gone to various places, the mortuaries, and interviewed witnesses. We are using our own processes for verification."

The 28 deaths did not include that of an 18-year-old student who died after a police beating witnessed by his mother and at least two neighbours, he said, indicating the toll could rise.

 

 

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga says he will mount a legal challenge to the result of last week's presidential election, which he claims was rigged.

Mr Odinga, who was defeated by incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, has accused the electoral authorities of fraud tantamount to "democracy's slaughter".

But foreign observers described the election as free and fair.

The international community has urged calm amid fears that the fraud claims could result in violence.

The official results gave President Kenyatta about 54% of the vote, and Mr Odinga 45%.

Mr Odinga, who had previously refused a court appeal against the outcome, said the opposition had collected concrete evidence of massive irregularities that were allegedly used to rig the vote.

"We have now decided to move to the Supreme Court to lay before the world the making of a computer-generated leadership," he told journalists.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan were among those who had urged Mr Odinga to seek redress through the courts. But he insisted that his decision did not mean he was giving up the fight.

"By going to court we aren't legitimising misplaced calls from some observers for us to concede but are seeking to give to those who braved the long lines in the morning chill and hot afternoon... a chance to be heard."

He also repeated his call for peaceful protests, saying Kenyans had the constitutional rights to demonstrate, strike and carry out acts of civil disobedience.

But on Monday, Mr Odinga's strike request was largely ignored.

"This is just the beginning, we will not accept and move on," he added.

Many Kenyans have ignored opposition leader Raila Odinga's call for a strike over disputed elections.

In the capital Nairobi and other cities, many shops remain open.

At least 24 people have been killed in violence since the 8 August election, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has said.

Mr Odinga said the poll was rigged to give President Uhuru Kenyatta victory, and called for a "day of mourning for the fallen patriots".

However, Kenyans on Twitter have been using the hashtag #TurudiKaziniChallenge  (Swahili for "Let's return to work" ) to urge a return to normalcy following last week's disruptions.

Mr Kenyatta repeated his appeal for peace.

"At the end of the day we are all Kenyans, we don't need to fight one another, we don't need to destroy each other's property, we don't need to take life," he said in a statement.

"Kenyans have said that the election is behind them, the majority have returned to work," he added.

Young people have been burning tyres in Kibera, a Nairobi slum where Mr Odinga has strong support, reports the BBC's Tomi Oladipo from the scene.

However, some of Mr Odinga's supporters in Kibera have opened their shops, saying that while they agree with him that the result was rigged, they cannot afford to lose business, our reporter adds.

Businesses are open as usual in the coastal city of Mombasa.

In the western city of Kisumu, a stronghold of Mr Odinga, there has been a mixed response to the strike, with shops open in some areas and shut in others.

The official results gave President Kenyatta about 54% of the vote, and Mr Odinga 45%.

"This is a failed regime that is resorting to killing people instead of addressing the real issue. The vote was stolen. There's no secret about that," Mr Odinga told his supporters on Sunday, as he called for a strike.

Foreign observers have declared the poll free and fair.

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan are among those who have urged Mr Odinga to seek redress through the courts - something the opposition coalition says is not an option.

Kenya's electoral commission has warned the opposition that its claims of victory for its presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, could be deemed illegal.

The opposition has published its own figures, putting Mr Odinga ahead of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.

This contrasts with provisional electronic results giving Mr Kenyatta a clear lead in Tuesday's poll.

Electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati told the BBC it was the only body legally allowed to count votes.

He accused the opposition coalition of basic mathematical errors.

International observers have described the election as free and fair.

However, many fear a repeat of the violence after the disputed election 10 years ago when more than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced.

On Thursday, scores of people took to the streets of Mathare, a slum in the capital Nairobi, shouting "Uhuru must go".

Mr Chebukati said that the documents containing the real results were still being sent from constituencies to their national tallying centre.

Mr Odinga has said the IT system of the electoral commission had been hacked and Kenya was witnessing the worst "voter theft" in its history.

But the commission said that while there had been an attempt to hack its system, it had failed.

The final outcome should be announced later on Friday.

Kenya's incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken a strong lead as votes are counted after Tuesday's election.

With 80% of results in he has 55% of the vote against 44% for his rival, Raila Odinga, figures show.

However, the opposition coalition has rejected the partial results, saying election officials have not produced documents to prove their validity.

"They are fictitious, they are fake," said Mr Odinga.

"We have our projections from our agents which show we are ahead by far," he added.

The electoral commission is urging people to wait calmly for full results.

Many fear a repeat of the violence that followed the disputed 2007 election when more than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced.

"During this critical phase, we urge all Kenyans to exercise restraint as we await official results from the polling stations and indeed as they start trickling in," the commission said.

Voting passed off largely peacefully and some polling stations remained open after the scheduled 17:00 (14:00 GMT) closing time.

Mr Kenyatta is hoping for a second term in office.

To win outright, a candidate needs more than 50% of the vote, and at least 25% in 24 of Kenya's 47 counties. If that threshold is not met, a run-off vote between the top two candidates will be triggered.

Voting for the national and local assemblies has also been taking place.

People started queuing early to ensure they could cast their vote. Long queues could be seen, and video footage at one polling station showed people injured after an apparent stampede.

There was also the failure of some voter-identification equipment and one in four polling stations were apparently without mobile phone coverage meaning that officials would have to drive to the nearest town to send results.

There were reports that one man had been killed in clashes in the Kilifi area.

But there was one heartening moment when a woman gave birth to a baby girl as she queued in West Pokot to cast her ballot. New mother Pauline Chemanang called the circumstances of the birth a "blessing" and called her baby Kura, Swahili for "ballot", according to local radio.

Casting his vote in his hometown of Gatundu, north of Nairobi, Mr Kenyatta said he would accept the outcome of the election.

"To my competitors, as I have always said, in the event that they lose, let us accept the will of the people. I am willing, myself, to accept the will of the people," he said.

Opposition leader Mr Odinga cast his ballot in the Nairobi slum of Kibera.

Speaking outside the voting centre, he told his supporters: "Let's turn out in large numbers and vote."

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