Roundup: Kenyans urged to remain calm amid poll anxiety
By Chris Mgidu and David Musyoka
NAIROBI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's government on Thursday appealed to citizens to remain calm following peaceful conclusion to Kenya's general elections which are tightly contested amid anxiety across the East African nation.
Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said the government is committed to safeguarding lives and property, maintaining that the country remains calm after the hotly contested presidential elections as they wait for the ballots to be counted.
"Enough security officers have been deployed throughout the country. More security officers are on standby in the event they are required in any part of the country," Matiang'i said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He said all reported and observed electoral malpractice suspects have been arrested and taken to court.
"Our surveillance and secure operations along the borders remained heightened which deterred any attempts by terrorist groups to disrupt voting," he said.
Matiang'i confirmed that four terror suspects have since been arrested and arraigned in court during the electioneering period as security officers enhanced patrols across the borders.
"We urge Kenyans to be alert and reported any suspicious criminal activities or any grouping of criminals to alert the police through emergency lines. The purpose of these criminals is to create an environment of confusion in order to perpetrate criminal acts against you or your neighbour," he said.
Millions of Kenyans went to the polling stations on Tuesday in the third presidential elections since the 2007 elections when post-election chaos led to death of about 1,200 people, injuring 3,500 and forcibly displacing up to 650,000 others.
The government's statement comes as Kenyans who massively turned out for the general elections are anxiously awaiting final results of a hotly contested election whose final presidential results may be announced on Friday.
Most businesses remain closed with several public transport operators in various parts of the East African nation for the third day on Thursday opting to keep their vehicles off the road.
Millions of Kenyans have chosen to stay indoors to monitor results on television sets. Others have suspended all their normal activities until the final tally of the presidential results are announced.
Several foreign observer groups have urged those who cast their vote, as well as candidates, political leaders and their supporters, to maintain the same calm and patience, to allow the electoral commission to complete its tallying of the votes, and to refrain from any pronouncements that could undermine its authority or cause tension.
Matiang'i said the government has requested private security firms, international agencies or any other entity issuing security alerts to do so in consultation with the police.
Kenya's constitution, which was enacted in 2010, provides for the election of a president, governor, senator, members of Parliament, women's representative and ward representative, all in one day.