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Uhuru Kenyatta Takes Early Lead in Kenya Presidential Poll

  • Blessing  Zulu

Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Kenyatta

The latest vote tally in Monday's elections in Kenya show Uhuru Kenyatta maintaining his lead in the race for president.

With about 40 percent of polling stations reporting, the head of the Kenyan electoral commission says early results show Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta has about 54% of the votes, while Prime Minister Raila Odinga has 41%.

If neither man wins a majority, Kenya must hold a run-off election in April. Mr. Kenyatta had strong support in areas north of the capital, Nairobi, while Mr. Odinga was winning in districts of western and southern Kenya.

Kenyatta faces trial at the International Criminal Court on charges he helped organize ethnic violence that followed the 2007 presidential poll. More than 1,000 people were killed in that violence.

Mr. Odinga is an ally of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The two were keynote speakers at each other’s respective party congress last year.

Violence has also marred the current election, with at least 19 people killed Monday - mainly in coastal attacks attributed to separatists.

In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe's former ruling Zanu-PF party arm of the government says western observers will not be allowed to monitor the forthcoming elections.

However, international observers, including a record number of Zimbabweans, are in Kenya to monitor the polls.

One of the Zimbabwean monitors is TrustAfrica Zimbabwe coordinator, Briggs Bomba, who said Harare has a lot to learn from Kenya if it wants to organize an acceptable election.