One killed as police open fire at Kenyan presidential election protesters

A man who was shot by police during violent protests against a repeat presidential election in Kenya has died in hospital, officers said.

The shooting occurred in the city of Kisumu, an opposition stronghold.

Three other people were admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds.

Opposition supporters gather during clashes with police in Nairobi’s Kibera slum

Violence erupted in Nairobi’s Kibera slum and Kisumu, a major city in the west where protesters set fires and blocked road as the main opposition leader urged his followers to boycott the vote.

Voting proceeded in areas where President Uhuru Kenyatta has support, but fewer voters were turning out than for the original August 8 election that the Supreme Court nullified because it found illegalities and irregularities in the process.

After voting, Mr Kenyatta said 90% of the country was calm and Kenya must remove ethnic loyalties from its politics.

The president, who was declared the winner in August with 54% of the vote, had said security forces would be deployed nationwide to ensure order on Thursday, and he urged Kenyans to vote while respecting the rights of those who did not.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who got nearly 45% of the vote in August, has said the new election will not be credible because of a lack of electoral reform and accused Mr Kenyatta of moving a country known for relative stability and openness towards authoritarian rule.

Mr Odinga’s call for a boycott resonated strongly in Kisumu, Kenya’s third-largest city and an opposition stronghold. He has urged followers to stay away from polling stations because of concerns about a crackdown by security forces.

Human rights groups said police killed at least 67 people during protests after the August vote. Authorities confirmed a smaller number of deaths and said they had to take action against rioters.

Mr Odinga has said the opposition coalition, the National Super Alliance, will become a resistance movement.

On Thursday, he said the movement will constitute a “People’s Assembly to guide the country to a fresh, free and fair presidential election” as part of a peaceful resistance that will include boycotting goods and services by those who have supported Mr Kenyatta’s “lawless grab of the presidency”.

An opposition supporter burns tyres in Mombasa, Kenya (AP)

An opposition supporter burns tyres in Mombasa, Kenya (AP)

Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term, also faced off in a 2013 election similarly marred by opposition allegations of vote-rigging.

The opposition leader also ran unsuccessfully in 2007, and ethnic-fuelled animosity after that vote killed more than 1,000 people and forced 600,000 from their homes.

Many observers say Kenya’s ethnic-based politics overshadow the promise of its democracy. Mr Kenyatta is a Kikuyu, while Mr Odinga is a Luo.

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.