( AP ) - A ruling party candidate for parliament was arrested Saturday after his bodyguards allegedly shot and killed a supporter of Kenya's largest opposition party and injured two others, police said.
The shootings in western Kenya came as tens of thousands of people rallied in the capital to kick off the presidential campaign of Raila Odinga, who has mounted a serious challenge to President Mwai Kibaki in December general elections.
Stanley Livindo - a ruling party politician seeking the parliamentary seat now held by Odinga - was arrested along with two of his bodyguards in connection with the shootings, police said.
The shootings occurred during an altercation while Livindo was campaigning in western Kenya, national police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said. The politician was detained at Nairobi's airport after flying back from the region.
At the rally in Nairobi for Odinga, the cheering and whistling crowd was urged to remain calm and not to retaliate for the shootings. People clambered onto rooftops or trees in a park to hear Odinga speak. Afterward, his supporters danced and sang in the streets, blocked traffic and mobbed Odinga's motorcade. The crowd later dispersed peacefully.
Kenya enjoys relative political and economic stability compared with many of its neighbors, but is still plagued by poverty, corruption and tribalism.
The December elections are the first in which an incumbent Kenyan leader will face a credible opponent since the country's 1963 independence from Britain. Kibaki is seeking another five-year term. There will be legislative elections at the same time to fill 210 out of 224 seats in parliament.
Polls in the last few weeks have put the flamboyant Odinga and his Orange Democratic Movement slightly ahead of Kibaki and his Party of National Unity.
Late Saturday, government spokesman Alfred Mutua said Health Minister Charity Ngilu had been fired. He did not give a reason. But this week Ngilu publicly backed Odinga and denounced the president for failing to live up to his campaign promises.
Odinga, whose constituency includes Kenya's largest slum, has promised to weed out corruption and provide services to Kenya's 16 million poor.