Opposition leader Raila Odinga used the argument that many Kenyans have not shared in economic growth under President Mwai Kibaki -- averaging 5 percent a year -- to win support in impoverished areas ahead of the election in December.The dispute over Kibaki's re-election, in a vote that Odinga says was stolen, became the spark for bloodshed that has killed at least 1,000 people in ethnic clashes and battles between police and poor slum dwellers.
"All these politicians are using us. We fight one another and die like animals but their children are not on the streets like other Kenyans," said Ouma, a security guard in a middle-class Nairobi suburb. "The people dying are young men who should be working not dying."During the worst fighting, ethnic gangs erected roadblocks and beat up or killed those they caught from rival communities.
A local daily columnist wrote recently that it was naive to expect that pro-Kibaki and pro-Odinga gangs would only fight against each other forever."If there's no political settlement soon, at some point, the gangs will unite ... together attacking, without discrimination, the homes of Kibaki and Raila's middle-class supporters," Charles Onyango-Obbo wrote in the Daily Nation