Kenya Christians pray amidst disputed election results

Kenya’s president-elect William Ruto speaks during a news conference with members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa in his official residence in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya (PHOTO: Reuters/ sabcnews.com)

Originally published in Worthy Christian News

Kenyan Christians were praying as William Ruto, Kenya’s former vice president, was declared the winner in the country’s presidential election though his rival rejected the results.

The announcement came after an unpredictable, neck-and-neck battle with millions of Kenyans eagerly watching as the results rolled in.

“Christians are praying,” said Jane Mihango, a Christian aid worker supporting orphans and other vulnerable children in the African nation.

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It has been a very close race between the two top candidates, Mihango told Worthy News.

She hopes that life for Christians like herself and the many impoverished children she supports will improve after the coronavirus pandemic and other social upheavals. “We will cook cabbage and rice for kids and say a prayer while giving them a word of encouragement,” Mihango said.

But there were no signs on Tuesday that someone could start solving governing effectively soon as the losing candidate, Raila Odinga, rejected the result even before it was announced.

His top aides said the election had been “mismanaged” and called on those in charge to be arrested.

After a winner was named, riots began in the hall where the votes had been counted, with chars flying and fists used in violent confrontations.

Four of the seven electoral commissioners refused to verify the vote and stormed out, casting doubt on a result that is almost certain to end up in court.

Odinga was to address the nation, casting doubts about the peaceful transition that Kenyans like Mihango had hoped for.

Kenya’s last three elections were overshadowed by disputed results that led to court cases and street violence.

Those crises prompted the electoral commission to try to ensure a clean vote this time by even posting images on its website of results from more than 46 000 polling stations.

In the end, Ruto received 50.49% of the vote, against 48.85% for Odinga, the electoral commission said. It was a difference of just 233 211 votes but enough to avoid a runoff, the official results showed.

Odinga, a veteran presidential candidate who was making his fifth stab at the office, has until Monday to file a petition at the Supreme Court.

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