Yesterday thousands protested against cost of living and Finance Act 2023. Raila Odinga the Azimio leader was to lead the protest at Kamukunji grounds but he called a press briefing to announce the cancellation. By the time he did this, Kenyans had already ground to a halt. Protesters in this area engaged in cat and mouse games with the police until Mr. Odinga press where people started dispersing.
Mind you it was the same day in the wee hours of the morning that our president welcomed Iran’s president Mr. Ebrahim Raisi. I know he is used to violence Iran is not so peacefully. In case he heard any chaos let him know it was a significant gesture. Kenyans were just having a continuation of his ceremonial welcome, the 21-gun Salute accorded to him at State House were not enough.
Kisii yesterday took the lead as rioters where already in the streets early morning. Mombasa, Kisumu, Siaya, Kirinyaga, Homabay, Kilifi, Nyeri, Murang’a Kajiado and Nakuru followed uniformly later. In Nairobi County, Mlolongo was the climax. People burned tyres, ejecting passengers from matatus vandalizing the Nairobi Express Way, chanting anti- government slogans and engaging police in day long running battles. Mlolongo was extra forcing the most feared Recce squad to be deployed in the area. At least 3 people died of gunshots wounds.
There is news that we should prepare for the another wave. Where are we heading as a country? People get hurt in this chaos, If we held peacefully demonstrations and do nothing illegal as per the constitution I don’t think this will happen.
Businesses lose billions as owners of the shops close over protest. We have heard cases of rioters storming in open businesses looting in them making owners count huge loses and can take long to recover.
Learners of hotspot areas skip school due to demos. Parents opted not to release the children fearing for their safety. Learners in those areas who had reported to school were forced to be released earlier than usual due to disruption in transport.
In my own opinion, while Kenyans have a constitutional right to demonstrate against the government, they should not abuse it or be used by others. Organizers will address us, then drive into a 5 star hotel while we walk home to sleep on empty stomach. Remember this protects will never eject president Ruto from power, NEVER.