A NASA supporter, Emanuel Konduto, 32, being treated at St Paul’s hospital in Homa Bay town on October 6, 2017. He sustained bullet injuries in Homa Bay town during anti-IEBC protest. [Photo:JAMES OMORO]
A man was shot, a supermarket looted and several people injured as demonstrations by National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters over Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) rocked parts of the country on Friday.
The gunshot victim, Emmanuel Konduto, a boda boda rider in Homa Bay, sustained serious injuries on his right thigh at Sofia estate as police officers who were driving away demonstrators out of the lakeside town, used live ammunition after being overpowered.
Homa Bay county Police Commander, Marius Tum, said his officers were forced to fire after the demonstrators started hurling stones at them.
“We had allowed the NASA supporters to demonstrate peacefully but they turned rowdy,” he said.
In Nairobi, the protestors who were addressed by Siaya Senator James Orengo at Uhuru Park, clashed with police officers outside City Hall. More than 30 vehicles parked along City Hall way had windows smashed by the irate protestors.
In Kisumu, where most of the injuries were reported, protestors clashed with guards at Tumaini supermarket before forcing their way in. They then beat up shoppers and carted away food and other valuables before the police came. Some protestors sustained multiple cut wounds during the scuffle.
Officials at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, said they treated and discharged more than 10 people who suffered panga cuts. Police said they had launched investigations to establish whether those who looted the supermarket were criminals. But apart from the two towns, demonstrations in the other Opposition strongholds went without any major incident. In Nairobi, NASA leadership led by Orengo said they will not relent until the irreducible minimums set by the coalition are met.
“There is no gun on earth that is more powerful than the people. There is no teargas can stop the people demanding for their rights and therefore we are declaring that Kenya is a sovereign republic of the people and not Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Orengo amid chants from the crowd.
The demonstrators camped outside the IEBC’s offices at Anniversary Towers before being dispersed by anti-riot police.
“Yes, people have a right to protest but it should not be at the inconvenience of others and we will not watch the destruction of property,” Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome said.
There was a scare after the NASA supporters almost clashed with emerging pro Jubilee group, the ‘Nairobi Business Community.’ Police had to form a wall when the group which has vowed to stop the NASA protests arrived in matatus and mini buses at Muindi Mbingu street. The police then fired teargas and dispersed everybody.
“The fact that NASA was demonstrating today does not stop us from going on with ours too. If NASA chose Friday which we also feel is good day for us to be on the streets, so be it,” said Fredrick Kinuthia, one of the pro Jubilee demonstrators said.
In Kisii, anti-riot police officers patrolled the town for the better part of the day. County Commander Hassan Abdi said they will not tolerate hooliganism and damage of private property.
In Migori, demonstrations started early in the morning, leading to closure of business. The main Migori-Isebania -Sirare highway remained barricaded for several hours. In Siaya MPs Sam Atandi (Alego-Usonga, Elisha Odhiambo (Gem) and Siaya Deputy Governor, James Okumbe led the demonstrators in burning an effigy belonging to IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba.
In Mombasa business came to a standstill at the central business district for hours as shops remained closed for fear of looting. Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi, Jomvu MP Twalib, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and Mombasa women representative Asha Hussein said there was no need to go to IEBC since there was no response to their petition yet.
No violence was witnessed in Kakamega, Busia and Bungoma. Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya who led demonstrations in his county said the will not stop protesting until Chiloba leaves the IEBC.
In Mararal, demonstrations were cut shot due to a failure by the organisers to notify the police.
[Story by Vincent Achuka, Dalton Nyabundi, James Omoro, Kepher Otieno, Eric Abuga, John Shilitsa, Ignatius Odanga, Patrick Beja, Raphael Wanjala and Martin Njiru]