Kenyan riot police were out in force Monday for a day of action called by the opposition to protest the country’s cost of living crisis, despite a ban on the demonstrations.
In one part of Nairobi’s biggest slum Kibera, demonstrators set tyres alight, while several youths were arrested at one of the venues for the demonstrations in the capital, AFP journalists saw.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who narrowly lost last year’s presidential election to William Ruto, has vowed that the rallies will go ahead.
“I want Kenyans to come out in large numbers and show the displeasure of what is happening in our country,” he told his supporters Sunday.
Kenyans are suffering from surging prices for basic necessities, as well as a sharp drop in the local shilling against the US dollar and a punishing drought that has left millions hungry.
“Day of showdown,” was the headline in Kenya’s The Standard newspaper on Monday.
Nairobi police chief Adamson Bungei said on Sunday that police received requests to hold two demonstrations only late Saturday and early Sunday, when normally three days’ notice is required for public rallies.
“For public safety, neither has been granted,” he said.
Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki also issued a statement on Sunday warning that anyone inciting public disorder or disturbing the peace would be prosecuted. Read more