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Why Raila flew out of the country at night

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NASA leader Raila Odinga flew out of the country on Sunday night following the unrest that followed his return to the country last Friday.

Raila’s return from a tour of the United States and Europe was marred by clashes between police and his supporters to defied orders to welcome him along major Nairobi thoroughfares from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

During the clampdown, a bullet hit his vehicle detroying the front windscreen. A tear gas canister was also thrown at his vehicle as he unsuccesfully tried to address a homecoming rally at Uhuru Park.

At least five people were killed and scores of others injured during the skimirshes though NASA says the death toll was higher.

Others were hacked to death in Baba Ndogo and Mathare areas by machete-wielding people in subsequent attacks on Saturday.

The worsening security situation saw Raila fly out to the semi-autonomous Tanzianian region of Zanzibar hours after visiting the affected areas on Sunday, according to Salim Lone, a longtime adviser, who spoke with the New York Times Monday.

He had called for the international intervention in the country’s election crisis, blaming the attacks on “state-sponsored thuggery.” Raila said Kenya “was being pushed to the precipice.”

He spoke as the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed two petitions that had been filed to challenge the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the October 26 fresh election that Raila withdrew from citing lack of electoral reforms to level the playing ground and address issues raised by the judges on September 1 when they, by a majority, nullified Uhuru’s August 8 win.

Raila, in a statement issued by Lone, said the Supreme Court ruling did not change his position that he does not recognise Uhuru’s re-election.

“We in Nasa had repeatedly declared before this Supreme Court ruling today that we consider this government to be illegitimate and do not recognise it,” said Raila.

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“This position has not been changed by the court ruling, which did not come as a surprise. It was a decision taken under duress. We do not condemn the court, we sympathise with it,” he added.

The court decision was received with mixed reactions with clashes being witnessed in NASA-supporting regions especially in Kisumu and Migori.

In Kisumu, a car and a shop destroyed by youths who were demanding identification documents while an attempt to burn down Kondele Police Station was thwarted.

NASA had asked its supporters to stay calm and wait for further directions.


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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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