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Businesses looted, burnt in Kenya pre-poll mayhem

Story from: CAJ News Africa

Kenya violent protestsFrom MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – RAMPAGING supporters of rival parties have burnt some shops and looted businesses as the violence rages ahead of divisive presidential elections in Kenya.
This is the latest in a series of skirmishes besetting the tense East African country whose initial poll in August the Supreme Court annulled last month over vote rigging concerns raised by the opposition.
In recent days, there has been an alleged arson attack at the Gikomba Market in the capital city Nairobi and looting at Tumaini Supermarket in the coastal city of Kisumu.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) deplored the attacks, aimed at expressing displeasure with electoral authorities, as highly regrettable.
Carole Kariuki, KEPSA Chief Executive Officer, expressed concern on such incidents which she said had a negative impact on Kenya’s economic prospects.
“As an alliance of private sector players, we are taken aback by these incidents,” Kariuki lamented.
“An attack on a small scale private sector player is an attack on a major player and deserves our condemnation in the strongest terms possible.”
The official called upon the political parties to encourage their supporters to uphold respect for the rule of law ahead of the October 26 poll.
Kariuki reiterated the political rhetoric and hardline positioning by politicians, accompanied by threats of chaos and implied violence, were now a serious threat to the continued economic wellbeing of the country.
Incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, will square up in the poll. In August, the now-nullified results indicated Kenyatta had won 54,17 percent of the vote to Odinga’s 44,94 percent.
Over 20 opposition supporters were killed during post-election clashes.
Kariuki appealed to the pair to come out and strongly condemn the arson and sabotage.
“In our view, an electoral process does not amount to a law and order vacation.”
CAJ News


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