GARISSA, Kenya, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police used teargas canisters to break up violent demonstrations in the northeast border town of Garissa on Thursday following clashes between rival political supporters.
Groceries and stall owners at the infamous Soko Muqdi, an open air market in Garissa town are counting huge losses suspected to be running into millions after goons set their property on fire moments after Jubilee party candidate Ali Korane was announced the winner of gubernatorial seat.
The fire whose source could not be immediately established razed down the entire market with huge balls of fire and smoke seen a few kilometers away.
Efforts by the fire brigade from the Garissa county government and members of public to put off the fire bore no fruit. Desperate owners tried their best to salvage part of their stock but all in vain.
Adjacent shops were also destroyed in the fire. Police had hectic time dispersing the rowdy youth who ran amok burning everything in sight as they ran towards the neighboring manyattas.
After the results were announced, Garissa town remained under lockdown with not even shop or business premises open with owners opting to stay away for fear of their businesses being looted.
There was heavy presence of police in riot gear in major streets of Garissa town as angry youths believed to be supporters of outgoing Governor Nathif Jama lit bonfire on some of the roads in the town.
Governor elect Korane urged the residents to remain clam and desist from any act that will jeopardize peace.
Jama who has since disputed the results said that he will seek legal redress terming the entire election process as a sham.
Kenyans went to the polls on Tuesday to vote in a fiercely contested presidential election, which in the last week of campaigning saw the murder of top election official and claims of vote rigging.
In Kenya in 2007, when the election result was disputed, more than 1,000 people died and 650,000 people were displaced.
The country is braced for violence whichever way the vote goes, with communities, authorities and international community working together to prepare for the result, which is expected within the week.