Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kenya: Odinga Rallies Supporters On Day 2 of Protests

Nairobi — Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Leader Raila Odinga has rallied Kenyans to turn up in large numbers for day two anti-government protests set to culminate tomorrow (Friday).

The Odinga-led coalition has vowed to stage three straight days of national wide protests against President William Ruto’s government.

In Nairobi, the protestors have been urged to bang pots and march in an act of defiance when they assemble at Huruma Grounds, Kangemi Grounds and the Nairobi Central Business District

“The voice of the People must be heard. Our peaceful protest continues,” Odinga tweeted.

Despite 300 people being arrested including nine leaders, police fired tear gas at protesters who took to the streets and more than a dozen people killed.

The Opposition has maintained that the protest must continue even as civil bodies and the international community urged the two opposing sides to bridge the impasse.

At least three people were shot dead Wednesday as police battled protesters in anti-government demonstrations.

An official at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital in Kisumu confirmed that two bodies were in the hospital’s mortuary while locals said the third was taken to a private hospital.

“Two bodies have been recorded at the morgue with gunshot wounds,” the CEO of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital, Dr George Rae said.

14 other people-all men-were admitted to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Odinga has vowed protests will continue Thursday.

According to Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, more than 300 people were arrested during the demonstrations in various towns and are set to face charges.

“More than 300 people have been arrested across the country and will be charged with various crimes, including looting, malicious damage of property, arson, robbery with violence, assaulting law enforcers among other crimes,” Kindiki said in a statement but did not speak of casualties.

In a joint statement, Kindiki and his Education counterpart Ezekiel Machogu ordered the re-opening of schools which remained closed Wednesday over the riots.

“The government has now undertaken an evaluation of the current security situation in various parts of the country including in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu counties and adequate measures have been taken to guarantee the safety and security of learners and their schools across the country,” they said.

Truce Call

But amidst the grandstanding, religious leaders have been at the forefront in calling for a truce which presently appears unheeded by President Ruto and Raila with both leaders charring their own paths.