Opposition leader Raila Odinga On Monday led a mammoth crowd to IEBC offices in Kisumu as pledged last week, but the Monday protest ended worse than the ones held previously, as police was on stand by waiting.
It began the moment the Opposition supporters flooded the street to protest against Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners, and started to cause disturbance. Then problems began when some of the protesters went haywire, going violent on CBD motorists, harassing them.
Some passerby and some protesters were also targeted and robbed off their purses, mobile phones and other valuables during the demonstrations. The protesters also waved placards and twigs, breaking some motorists’ side mirrors.
— Polycarp Hinga® (@PolycarpHinga) May 16, 2016
Some of the demonstrators took their protest to City Hall Way, forcing the closure of a Nakumatt supermarkets branch.
Business owners on Muindi Mbingu Street closed on seeing huge demonstrators approaching in full force, in fear of getting attacked. The protesters also blocked movement at Moi Avenue and Tom Mboya Street as the protesters engaged the police in running battles.
— Just Cr IG @cr_deno (@Cr_Deno) May 16, 2016
Armed officers with batons then began firing teargas at hundreds of protesters outside the offices of the commission – which is the third clash over the issue in less than a month.
As the protesters increase in number, police continue with their attack, firing tear gas and water cannon, from trucks parked nearby, at protesters. A Reuters witness said one protester manned a bag of stones, while others threw them at police ranks. Police struck some protesters with batons.
— PEOPLE DAILY (@PeopleDailyKe) May 16, 2016
As a result, youths along with MPS carrying out the anti-IEBC protest in Kisumu area had to run to safety as police also fired bullets in the air.
But scores ended up with bloody injuries in the Kisumu anti-IEBC protest and the security agency bundled off some they could lay their hands on.
— Ahmed Mohamed (@asmali77) May 16, 2016
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KANU, led by Nick Salat, also joined the anti-IEBC protestors.
— Mac Otani (@MacOtani) May 16, 2016
Opposition supporters and their leaders, led by former prime minister Raila Odinga, have vowed to kick electoral commissioners for their ineffectiveness. They cited failure by relevant Government institutions to act on resolutions against the electoral commission as one of the reasons they decided to go with the public protests.
Raila also cited Jubilee’s influence on the National Assembly, which set aside a petition against the polls’ chiefs, and the failure by the anti-corruption commission to handle the issue. This is the third time opposition had camped outside Anniversary Towers.
Kenya does not hold its next presidential and parliamentary polls until August 2017, but politicians are already trying to galvanise their supporters in a nation where violence erupted after the 2007 vote and the opposition disputed the 2013 result.
Following the disputed 2007 vote, about 1,200 were murdered in ethnic fighting. Western diplomats have urged the authorities to work carefully with citizens to ensure peaceful elections in 2017.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will seek re-election next year for a second and final term, has called on opposition to desist from any destructive agitation.
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