A look at Kenya's recent history of deadly election unrest

Picture: AFP
Picture: AFP

Johannesburg - Kenya saw deadly violence overnight after the election commission declared that President Uhuru Kenyatta had won a second term while the opposition called Tuesday's vote a "charade."

The East African economic power has a recent history of unrest after elections, especially the 2007 one that led to more than 1 000 people being killed.

Here's a look at recent elections and their aftermath and why Kenyans are watching nervously today:

2007: Deadly Rampage 

What was arguably Kenya's worst violence since independence erupted immediately after it was announced that President Mwai Kibaki had won re-election in a close race against opposition leader Raila Odinga.

More than 1 000 people died and 600 000 were evicted from their homes, while international observers called the vote flawed.

Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's first president and a Kibaki ally, later faced criminal charges at the International Criminal Court over his alleged role in orchestrating the ethnic violence.

Those charges were dropped due to lack of evidence, with the ICC prosecutor blaming unprecedented witness interference and bribery.

2013:Legal Challenge 

With Kibaki's support, Kenyatta won his first term in a vote so close - 50.03% - that perennial challenger Odinga filed a legal challenge. It was unsuccessful.

In a dramatic example of Kenya's shifting political alliances, the politician who had backed Odinga in 2007, William Ruto, joined forces with Kenyatta for the 2013 vote and became deputy president.

Kenya was far calmer after the election results were announced, and the government had begun reforms that included adopting a new constitution to check the president's powers.

2017: Alleged Hacking 

The torture and killing of the Kenyan election official in charge of the electronic voting system shortly before the vote sparked early concerns.

Then the American CEO of a campaign data firm working with Odinga was deported the weekend before the vote.

Odinga has claimed the election commission's database was hacked and results manipulated in favor of Kenyatta, who won with 54% of the vote to Odinga's 44%.

But international observers said they saw no signs of interference with the vote, and the commission said there had been a hacking attempt but it failed.

At least three deaths were reported in the days between the election and the announcement of the results on Friday night as opposition supporters protested and clashed with police.

Another at least two deaths were reported overnight after Kenyatta was declared the winner.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Will you continue to use WhatsApp following the company announcing a change terms of service which would force users to share personal data?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, the terms of service do not bother me enough to switch
52% - 7583 votes
No, I will be switching over to a new service
44% - 6340 votes
I've never used WhatsApp
4% - 584 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo