Police aimed teargas and high pressure water directly at Raila’s convoy conveying Cord leaders to the protest ground as they peered out their heads to address the audience.
The leaders immediately took refuge inside the car leaving their supporters who accompanied them on foot to absorb all the dispelling weapons thrown at them. But with the water cannon, the police chased the convoy out of Nairobi CBD on Monday afternoon.
The protesters, led by Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula’s, were driven off moments after they left the Capitol Hill offices where they had gathered in readiness to address the media.
Here Are Videos Showing Raila’s Convoy Treated With Itchy Water And Teargas.
Later on after the protest turned deadly, Cord leaders issued a statement over the deaths of three protesters, accusing police of inducing chaos to the “peaceful” IEBC demonstrations.
An ODM leader, via his Facebook page, said that as a movement agitating for electoral reforms through the democratic will, the party unreservedly condemn the pointless assault meted out by the police on their fellow Kenyans during the peaceful protests held across the country from Mombasa, Kisumu, Nairobi, Siaya, Meru and Kakamega.
He added that the party has promised from the onset that that they are engaging in a peaceful demonstration protected by Article 37 of the Constitution but the police have persistently and with no provocation decided to make use of excessive force on a legal body.
Cord further stated that the police actions only served to set the country on a course to havoc. Concluding his speech, he wrote:
“That said, we will not relent in demanding for the departure of the IEBC Commissioners and reform of the Secretariat as the irreducible minimum for free and fair elections.”
Earlier, the protesters engaged police in running battles on University way, City Hall way and Moi avenue. Also, protesters reportedly carrying crude weapons were dispersed on their way from Kibera to the city centre. One person died in Kisumu and two in Siaya during protests organised by Cord to push the electoral agency’s commissioners out of office.
Among those who died was a man reportedly not among the protesters. He was allegedly hurt near Tivoli centre and rushed to Aga Khan hospital where he later died.
Police drove away protesters with tear gas canisters at Kibera as they tried to march towards the CBD.
Most shops were shut down in Kibera’s Olympic area as hundreds carried stones and placards on their way to Nairobi. Most businesses along Moi Avenue and Anniversary towers remained closed.
Senator Boni Khalwale was arrested for leading the anti-IEBC demos in Kakamega yesterday without informing the police. Cord co-principal and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula condemned police for the arrest. Wetang’ula described the arrest as a plot to stifle the opposition to make them quit the agitation seeking the removal of the IEBC commissioners.
In defiance, he challenged Jubilee to bring on more attacks and assault, insisting they will never stop protesting unless the commissioner go home.
Kuresoi South MP Zakayo Cheruiyot has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta following the bloody protest to read the the mindset of Kenyans and dissolve the electoral agency.
He said the public can not trust the current commissioners’ ability to conduct the 2017 general elections. But in response, Uhuru has said countless times that he has no powers to sack the IEBC commissioners. The Catholic Church also, on the other hand, has urged Cord to stop countrywide protests against IEBC and use dialogue.
Nyeri Archbishop Peter Kairo said the opposition is taking Kenya back to the days of havoc, adding that the weekly demos can lead to violence in the country.
He was speaking during the first anniversary of Sister Nyaatha’s beatification at Dedan Kimathi Stadium.