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Africa

African press review 12 August 2017

media DR

Celebrations and deadly riots in Kenya as President Uhuru Kenyatta is proclaimed winner of the August 8 elections. And Nigerian police avert a first open clash in Abuja between supporters of ailing President Buhari and opponents clamouring for his resignation.

We begin in Kenya, where the papers share the joy and bitterness of the winners and losers of the high stake elections.

The coverage follows the proclamation of incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of the August 8 polls by the country's Independent Electoral and boundaries commission.

The IEBC declared Kenyatta validly elected to serve for another five-year-term with a score of 54.3 percent against 44.7 for his challenger Raila Odinga.

Daily Nation reports that the head of Kenya's Elections body Wafula Chebukati made the formal declaration at 10.18pm Friday night after a day of tension, grandstanding and an evening of waiting in the cold auditorium by politicians, observers, envoys, journalists, commission staff and security agents.

Daily Nation also holds that Kenyatta was magnanimous with his win by extending an olive branch to his arch-rival Raila Odinga, saying Kenya needs healing and cooperation after the high-risk elections.

The publication runs key quotes from Kenyatta's victory address. "To our brothers and our worthy competitors, I say to you: we are not enemies, we are citizens of one republic" the President-elect is quoted as saying.

Kenyatta reportedly reiterated that "like in any competition, there shall always be winners and losers, but as he noted moments after he was handed his victory certificate that members of Odinga's coalition and his Jubilee party and others will remain members of one nation".

Meanwhile the Standard which also leads with a big splash on Kenyatta's proclaimed victory reports that the National Super Alliance backing Odinga claimed on Friday that the elections body proclaimed the results of the presidential vote in total disregard of their concerns.

According to the publication, NASA agents stormed out of a meeting between IEBC officials and all chief presidential agents citing disagreements.

Standard says the two opposition officials did not put their signature on the final results. The publication also reports that NASA officials also faulted the foreign election observers for not giving an honest verdict on the General Election.

The Kenyan Star explores some of the reasons which may have led to Raila Odinga’s defeat. It says that his chances of victory were dimmed by infighting, lack of coordination, multiple centers of power and bungled party primaries.

According to the paper Raila had tens of technocrats who worked on a grand strategy to seal possible rigging loopholes, but the game plans remained largely on paper.

The Star reports that on the election day, Raila did not have agents in hundreds of polling stations across Jubilee bastions, mostly in Central and Rift Valley.

In South Africa, Times reports an outbreak of late night looting, riots, and running battles with police in the capital's Mathare and Kibera slums on Friday resulting in two deaths as anger remained high among Raila Odinga's supporters.

Joyous celebrations also turned deadly, according to the Times, the publication quoting a senior traffic police officer as saying that four people were killed after being hit by vehicles.

Mail and Guardian warns that many observers fear a repeat of the violence which followed the disputed election 10 years ago where more than 1 000 Kenyans died and 600 000 were displaced.

 

The prolonged absence from Nigeria of ailing President Muhammadu is causing unease in the country after a violent confrontation broke out in Abuja on Friday between his supporters and opponents seeking his resignation.

Vanguard reports that the "resumeorresign" coalition which had been staging a 5-day sit-in demonstration at the prominent Unity Fountain garden in central Abuja came under attack by pro-government supporters and only escaped lynching after police rushed in to shield them.

The protesters argue that 72 year-old Buhari who spent 52 days on sick leave in Britain and who has been away for 92 consecutive days cannot continue as President."

To read RFI's reports of Kenya's 2017 election click here

 

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