Even though the government declared the demonstrations to be illegal, thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched through Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa on Monday.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga joined demonstrators on the western edge of the city, where his convoy drew tens of thousands of supporters. Odinga asserts that Kenyans have the right to resist, despite police head Japheth Koome’s insistence that the demonstrations are unlawful. He spoke to the crowd at different stops, urging election fairness and lower food prices.
Mr Odinga and his party, Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition are leading the demonstrations against increasing costs of living and demanding President William Ruto’s departure on the grounds that he was not legitimately elected in last year’s election are Following the demonstrations last week, Odinga has encouraged his supporters to demonstrate twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. Today being the third countrywide protest.
In the demonstrations last week, Odinga intended to march to the State House, where the president’s offices are located, but police erected barriers to block public access, and drivers were given alternative paths.
Despite the fact that most businesses were closed on Monday morning due to the ambiguity surrounding protests and whether there would be bloodshed, Nairobi’s central business area stayed peaceful. There were rumors that Odinga and his followers had been the target of some violence.
Some individuals broke into a farm held by the family of former president Uhuru Kenyatta on the outskirts of the city and stole livestock and cut down trees. The previous president backed Odinga in the elections of 2022. Stones were thrown at Odinga’s gas cylinder production company in the vicinity of the central business area.
On Monday, there were many police officers present in the city and its neighboring areas. Crowds that congregated in Kibera and Mathare were cleared and chased by the police. So the question remains, who will blink first? Will President Ruto hear the plight of his citizens and lower the cost of living, stopping the ongoing protest or will the Opposition leader Raila Odinga, give up the good fight for the sake of peace in the country? – Steve Sijenyi