Riots erupt after KENYA's Mwai Kibaki presidentdeclared winner by 231,000 votes; 18 dead in election-relatedviolence, police say
NAIROBI,Kenya (CNN) -- Kenya's government has suspended all live televisionbroadcasts as violence engulfed Nairobi following the re-election ofincumbent president Mwai Kibaki.
A senior official from the Kenyan Television Network said it hadbeen ordered to stop live broadcasts as rioters went on the rampage.Kenyan television had earlier broadcast an address from the chairmanof the electoral commission announcing that Kibaki had narrowlydefeated Raila Odinga, of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement,winning by slightly more than 231,000 votes of the more than 8.9million votes cast.
A top media executive said on condition of anonymity that thedecision to suspend broadcasts had "taken back democratic process by15 years."
Police denied there had been violence following the announcementof the result, which was contested by Odinga's party who accused thegovernment of "doctoring" the count. But a CNN crew witnessed plumesof smoke rising over the Kibari slum, a stronghold of support for theopposition and the scene of pitched battles between rioters andpolice on Saturday. Witnesses said rioters were setting fire tobuildings in protest at the result, CNN producer Kim Norgaardreported. "This country is going to turn into a war zone," TheAssociated Press quoted Kibari resident Elisha Kayugira assaying.
Following a swearing-in ceremony, Kibaki insisted the electionswere "free and fair" and called upon opposition parties to set asidetheir differences and to "let us all work together to buildconsensus."
The U.S. State Department echoed the president's sentiment andcongratulated Kibaki on his re-election. A spokesman for the StateDepartment called on all Kenyans to abide by the results so that thenation can move forward. Earlier supporters of Odinga disrupted apress conference where the electoral commission was expected toannounce the results. The chairman of the electoral commission,Samuel Kivuitu, was escorted out of the room after shouts broke outfrom supporters of Odinga who accused the government of electionfraud. Kivuitu was taken under armed guard to his private officeswhere he announced the result in an address later broadcast on statetelevision.
Odinga's party accused the government of "doctoring" the results.Odinga claimed the official counts from 48 out of a total 210constituencies were flawed, saying that around 300,000 votes were indispute. He also introduced an official from the commission who saidhe witnessed vote-rigging by staff at the commission's headquarters.The official said he had been asked to sign off returns from pollingstations from Kenya's eastern coastal region that he claimed had beendeliberately altered by commission staff.
Odinga had said earlier that if the president was announced winner"it will do the biggest injustice to the people of this country."According to AP reports, at least 14 people have been killed inelection-related violence since Thursday's voting in Kenya. Nine diedSunday in the Mathare shantytown, AP reported.
Protesters waving machetes were shouting "Kibaki must go!" asbuses and shops burned in Mathare, AP reported. Kibaki's slim marginof victory is a marked difference from his win five years ago, in alandslide election. He had run on promises to fight corruption. Hehas seen his authority erode amid a number of high-profile corruptionscandals in his government. He faced a serious challenge from Odinga,a flamboyant politician who hails from the minority Luo tribe and haswon support from rural and urban voters after promising to share thewealth among all the people. A peaceful election and a smoothtransition of power were seen as crucial for Kenya, a stable countryin an otherwise-volatile region.
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By Chido Nwangwu. Click here for commentary
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Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks and a willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians, controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally and practically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banks from crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and false declarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeria for almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria's oil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in South Africa. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT for PetroGasWorks.com
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Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents." These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.' Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president. By Al Johnson
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CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy was livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.
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SPORTS: Tiger Woods makes more history with another golf Masters win. He shot 12-under-par 276 and a final round 71 at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club event and collected $1,008,000, on Sunday April 14, 2002. With it, the world's golf phenom added another green jacket to his array of championships and titles, placing him, in this instance, in the same respected Masters' league as Nicklaus (winner 1965 and 1966) and Nick Faldo (1989 and 1990). The three are the only men to win back-to-back Masters. At 26, Woods has since become the youngest golfer to win his seventh professional major championship. He was joined by his parents and his 22 year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Elin Nordegren.
Impeachment process shows Nigerian democracy "is alive... being tested." Nigeria's president retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the impeachment process shows that "democracy is alive, is being tested, and being tried.... What they (the legislators) have tried to do in the democratic way, which is not easy, would probably have been done by taking arms or by -- with bullets. So, but with democracy, of course, some people feel that this is the way this should be, and then I have an opportunity to defend myself. There is discussion. There is dialogue. There is a decision. There is fairness." He made these comments when he appeared on Tuesday September 17, 2002 on CNN International to discuss the issues of impeachment facing him, the allegations of corruption, abuse of the constitution and deployment of soldiers ina civilian environment which led to the "massacre of civilians" in Odi (Bayelsa) and Zaki Biam (Benue). On the charges by international human rights organizations and Nigerian media that his government has been involved in actions which have led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerians, the retired General gave a surprising answer. He was asked that "as many as 10,000 people, it's being reported, have been killed in Nigeria (in) communal rivalries, and the number is believed to be increasing. And people are saying that although President Obasanjo has done a lot of good for Nigeria, you're accused of not -- accused of failing to halt that spiraling violence."
Obasanjo: Let me say this to you, when you put the question of 10,000 -- 10,000 people dying in Nigeria, of course, for a population of over 120 million people...." But USAfricaonline.com Founder and recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), Chido Nwangwu, who appeared on the same program as as a CNN International analyst (Africa) pointed out that "when (President Obasanjo) answered that in a country of 100 million that 10,000 people are said to have died, as if that was a small number, that in itself reflects a disconnect with the concerns of Nigerians. The second one is that when the risk is civil disagreement, the police are required to intervene in the country. And the deployment of the armed forces of Nigeria requires at least some consultation, however modest, with the parliament." Nwangwu, former member of the editorial board of Nigeria's Daily Times continued that "the third factor that is equally important to underscore is that the armed forces of Nigeria moved in for a punitive action rather than just containing a civil disagreement." He noted in USAfricaonline.com backgrounder "it was revealing and interesting interesting discussing Nigeria's issues with its leader - under the current circumstances of an increasingly out-of-schedule elections and the gathering storm of an impeachment process by a majority of the members of the National Assembly, predominantly by Obasanjo's party members." See rush transcript of the CNN International news program.
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