Uhuru Kenyatta, 55, wins second term as President of Kenya

Friday August 11 2017

Kenya's President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE

Kenya's President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By NATION TEAM
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has won a second term in office, garnering 54.2 per cent of votes, according to final results declared by the electoral commission on Friday evening.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati declared Mr Kenyatta the winner of the presidential race at exactly 10.17pm EAT.

REACTIONS

“He attained 25 percent of votes cast in 35 counties ” Mr Chebukati, the returning officer of the presidential election, said at Bomas of Kenya— the national tallying centre, in the capital Nairobi

The announcement was met with celebrations in the strongholds of Mr Kenyatta’s party, Jubilee, and protests amongst some Nasa supporters.

Nyeri residents celebrate Mr Kenyatta's win

Nyeri residents celebrate Mr Kenyatta's win with full loaves of bread, signifying that the Jubilee leader will not share power with Mr Odinga as President Mwai Kibaki did following disputed 2007 polls. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Kenyatta won with 8.2 million votes compared to 6.8 million votes for his closest rival Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

Mr Kenyatta, riding on a well-oiled campaign machinery, prevailed despite persistent dissatisfaction with the economy and a hard-fought challenge by Mr Odinga.

Jubilee and Mr Kenyatta's supporters celebrate

Jubilee and Mr Kenyatta's supporters celebrate at KICC before the announcement on August 11, 2017. PHOTO | NGANGA MBUGUA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

He demanded access to the electoral commission’s servers as a condition to accepting the outcome of the election, which he claimed was rigged in Mr Kenyatta's favour.

Two hours to the announcement, Mr Odinga's Chief Agent Musalia Mudavadi and deputy James Orengo told a press conference that IEBC had not addressed their concerns, and that Nasa would boycott the results declaration.

"They have told us that we will get a response after the announcement... clearly they are not willing to address them, " Mr Mudavadi said.

Jubilee and Mr Kenyatta's supporters celebrate

Jubilee and Mr Kenyatta's supporters celebrate in the streets of Lamu before the announcement on August 11, 2017. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

They made good their threat moments later and, accompanied by Mr Odinga, stormed out of Bomas and left the venue.

Mr Orengo said lodging a petition at the Supreme Court, the top court in the land, would not be an option for Nasa should IEBC announce the results against their wishes.

Direct negotiations with IEBC and peaceful protests, he said, were the only ways to resolve the standoff that persisted for the better part of Friday, delaying the much-awaited announcement to the chagrin of expectant Kenyans.

Jubilee supporters celebrate in the streets of

Jubilee supporters celebrate in the streets of Nakuru on the night of August 11, 2017. PHOTO | MAGDALENE WANJA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

"Court is not an alternative... we have been there before," he said.

HACKING

The announcement started off with the national anthem and a minute of silence in honour of slain IEBC ICT Manager Chris Msando and a poll official in Nyanza.

Mr Msando was murdered days to August 8 General Election, casting a long shadow on the the East African nation's second General Election under the Constitution promulgated in 2010.

There was an awkward moment at Bomas after Mr Chebukati almost announced the results before they could be signed, a grave illegality.

Nyeri residents brave the chilly weather and

Nyeri residents brave the chilly weather and rains to celebrate President Kenyatta's victory. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

It took more than 10 minutes for all presidential agents to ink the documents before he resumed his speech.

48 COUNTIES

He read the results from for all counties— starting with County 001, Mombasa, to County 048, Diaspora— outlining the performance of all the the eight candidates who ran for State House.

The other candidates in Kenya's high-stakes poll were Joseph Nyagah, Mohamed Dida, Ekuru Aukot, Japheth Kavinga, Shakhalaga Khwa Jirongo and Michael Wainaina.

Residents of Eldoret join celebrations of

Residents of Eldoret join celebrations of Uhuruto win. PHOTO | JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Nyaga and Mr Dida came a distant third and fourth with less than 0.3 per cent of valid votes.

The rest of the candidates managed less than 0.2 per cent.

VOTING

Mr Kenyatta’s supporters were enthusiastic before, during and after the announcement after provisional results put him in the lead.

They occasionally clapped as Mr Chebukati made his remarks at Bomas as other sang and danced at Kenyatta International Convention Centre where Mr Kenyatta had stopped before heading to Bomas.

Cheers to Uhuruto!: These men chose to have a

Cheers to Uhuruto!: These men chose to have a drink in Nyahururu Town after results were announced. PHOTO | STEVE NJUGUNA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Voting went off smoothly on Tuesday, despite widespread fears of violence.

OBSERVERS

Many commentators, however, have returned a verdict that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission conducted a largely credible election.

The opposition has raised several challenges on the result – including claims that the IEBC tally system was hacked and that in some places election materials were mishandled leading to suspicions on the veracity of the results.

Mr Chebukati responded to the Nasa claims with a rebuttal that they had investigated the reports and remain confident that the results they have released reflect the true wish of Kenyans as expressed in ballots across the country.

Reported by Beatrice Kangai, John Ngirachu, Ibrahim Oruko and Harry Misiko.