Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga said Kenya’s elections may prompt violence that evokes the unrest that killed at least 1,100 people following a disputed vote a decade ago if the electoral authorities fail to ensure this year’s process is credible.
According to Odinga on Wednesday in an interview in the capital, Nairobi, any outbreak of clashes would be difficult to control, even though Kenyans “don’t want to go back to 2008,”
The 72 year-old former prime minister is seeking to stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from securing a second term in August. 8, election.
The other time we told people to stop, but when the situation develops, it becomes very difficult for an individual to do anything.
Kenyan elections are a source of nervousness for investors in East Africa’s biggest economy.
A dispute between supporters of rival parties over the outcome of a presidential election in December 2007 sparked two months of violence that, in addition to the deaths, forced 350,000 others to flee their homes.
The clashes also caused Kenya’s economic growth rate to slump to 1.7 percent in 2008 from 7.1 percent a year earlier.
“The other time we told people to stop, but when the situation develops, it becomes very difficult for an individual to do anything,” Odinga said.
The opposition National Super Alliance, which Odinga heads, already suspects “something sinister” is afoot at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, after the body dismissed two senior officials in the space of a week.
One of the people removed was the head of the procurement office, which has yet to secure 130 million ballot papers needed for the legislative, gubernatorial, presidential and other elections taking place in two months.