REGIONAL: NAIROBI – Six people were yesterday killed in the third day of Kenya’s opposition protests as former UN chief Kofi Annan announced he will arrive in Nairobi on Tuesday for renewed mediation efforts.
At the same time, President Kibaki named a team of ten to spearhead dialogue out of the political crisis following the December 27 contested presidential election.
Yesterday was the last day of three-day protests called by Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in search of justice over alleged vote rigging that saw President Kibaki handed a second term.
The three days of protests were felt most in parts of Nairobi, Narok and Mombasa.
Four people died after being shot with arrows in Narok, while police shot dead two in Nairobi and one in the coastal town of Mombasa.
In Narok, one of the dead men was unlucky when he ran into a group with crude weapons.
"The man bumped into a group of armed residents who shot him with a poison arrow," said Narok area police boss Patrick Wambani.
The riots in Mombasa started soon after the Friday Muslim prayers ended at 1pm (East African time) resulting in one shot dead and three seriously injured from live bullet wounds.
In Nairobi, two were shot dead in the sprawling Kibera slums. Police confronted a mob that was removing parts of the railway line and shot a 15-year-old girl in the back and a man in the head.
The city’s central business district was mostly peaceful but tense. There were with brief moments of running battles as riot police dispersed some Muslim faithful who attempted to demonstrate towards Uhuru Park after coming from Friday prayers at Jamia Mosque.
On the mediation front, President Kibaki appointed a team led by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to help in the dialogue.
A dispatch from the Kenyan Presidential Press Service said a top-level political committee had been formed to spearhead "national political dialogue, national reconciliation and to promote international understanding and good relations on the political problems facing the country following the recently concluded elections".
Other members of the committee are Security Minister George Saitoti, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, Finance Minister Amos Kimunya, Local Government Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Transport Minister Chirau Mwakwere, Justice Minister Martha Karua, Attorney General Amos Wako and Mbooni MP Mutula Kilonzo.
The statement said the tenth member will be co-opted by the committee as appropriate.
Kibaki also named two joint secretaries for the committee. They are Ludiko Chweya, a senior political science lecturer at the University of Nairobi, and Geoffrey Gichira Kibaara, the director of legal affairs at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.