KENYA: Tension Rises Ahead of Repeat Election

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ruth odinga

As Kenya’s October 26 repeat presidential election closes in, there has been an increased tension following the oppositions decision to continue violent demonstrations despite warnings from the government.

In a recent development. Kenyan prosecutors have announced that sister of opposition leader, Ruth Odinga, and an opposition senator will be charged for inciting violence, after attacks on the election board.

Opposition Leader Raila Odinga has been due to compete against incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in a repeat presidential election on Oct. 26, but pulled out earlier this month, saying the vote would not be free and fair and calling for a boycott.

Last week, protesters disrupted several election-related events, including a training session with election officials in Odinga’s western stronghold of Kisumu, attacking staff and destroying tents and training materials. The pending charges against Ruth Odinga, a former deputy governor of Kisumu county, Senator Fred Outa and unnamed others relate to that incident.

They include incitement, destruction of property, obstructing election officers and trespassing in an electoral centre, according to a letter that the director of public prosecution’s office posted online. Both Ruth Odinga and Outa were present at the protests,

“The suspects should immediately be charged,” the letter said. The attacks on election staff stoked concerns about an outbreak of violence during the election.