Preparations are underway for Tuesday’s hotly contested general election ( Aug 8) in Kenya amid fears it will trigger ethnic violence between rival supporters.
The torture and killing in recent days of a key election official in charge of the electronic voting system has some concerned about the possibility of vote tampering.
Tuesday’s poll sees President Uhuru Kenyatta once again being challenged by the long-term opposition rival Raila Odinga.
On Sunday during a Church visit in Nairobi the president urged Kenyan’s to accept the election result whichever way it goes.
“We are here to ask God to give us a peaceful election, and to keep us united as one through the choices that will be made via the votes of Kenyans. We will accept the results bearing in mind that Kenya will still exist after these elections.”
Fears of violence if the result is disputed have lead to a mass exodus of people leaving Nairobi and other urban centres.
Following the disputed 2007 election hundreds were killed and more fled their homes in violence which took on ethnic overtones, involving mostly Kikuyus and Luos which are two of Kenya’s biggest ethnic groups.
Kenyatta is the son of Kenya’s first president and Kikuyu; Odinga is the son of the country’s first vice president and a Luo.
Although some opinion polls give Kenyatta a slight lead, Odinga claims the only way the president can win is by rigging the vote. If the opposition feels cheated then Odinga may call for demonstrations-