Kenyans urged to remain calm amid poll anxiety

2017-08-10 22:15:21 GMT2017-08-11 06:15:21(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

By Chris Mgidu and David Musyoka

NAIROBI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's government on Thursdayappealed to citizens to remain calm following peaceful conclusionto Kenya's general elections which are tightly contested amidanxiety across the East African nation.

Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said thegovernment is committed to safeguarding lives and property,maintaining that the country remains calm after the hotly contestedpresidential elections as they wait for the ballots to becounted.

"Enough security officers have been deployed throughout thecountry. More security officers are on standby in the event theyare required in any part of the country," Matiang'i said in astatement issued in Nairobi.

He said all reported and observed electoral malpractice suspectshave been arrested and taken to court.

"Our surveillance and secure operations along the bordersremained heightened which deterred any attempts by terrorist groupsto disrupt voting," he said.

Matiang'i confirmed that four terror suspects have since beenarrested and arraigned in court during the electioneering period assecurity officers enhanced patrols across the borders.

"We urge Kenyans to be alert and reported any suspiciouscriminal activities or any grouping of criminals to alert thepolice through emergency lines. The purpose of these criminals isto create an environment of confusion in order to perpetratecriminal acts against you or your neighbour," he said.

Millions of Kenyans went to the polling stations on Tuesday inthe third presidential elections since the 2007 elections whenpost-election chaos led to death of about 1,200 people, injuring3,500 and forcibly displacing up to 650,000 others.

The government's statement comes as Kenyans who massively turnedout for the general elections are anxiously awaiting final resultsof a hotly contested election whose final presidential results maybe announced on Friday.

Most businesses remain closed with several public transportoperators in various parts of the East African nation for the thirdday on Thursday opting to keep their vehicles off the road.

Millions of Kenyans have chosen to stay indoors to monitorresults on television sets. Others have suspended all their normalactivities until the final tally of the presidential results areannounced.

Several foreign observer groups have urged those who cast theirvote, as well as candidates, political leaders and theirsupporters, to maintain the same calm and patience, to allow theelectoral commission to complete its tallying of the votes, and torefrain from any pronouncements that could undermine its authorityor cause tension.

Matiang'i said the government has requested private securityfirms, international agencies or any other entity issuing securityalerts to do so in consultation with the police.

Kenya's constitution, which was enacted in 2010, provides forthe election of a president, governor, senator, members ofParliament, women's representative and ward representative, all inone day.