Arrests as Kenyan opposition leads anti-government protests

Hundreds of protesters spread across the city were unable to reach their designated assembly point in the central business district as police dispersed them with tear gas throughout the morning.

The opposition has called protests against Ruto, who they say was not validly elected in the August 2022 elections. They also blame his administration for the rising cost of living.

Opposition protests in Kenya
Protesters taunt police at a barricade in Nairobi’s Kibera slum (Ben Curtis/AP)

Nairobi Police Chief Adamson Bungei said those arrested in the protests will be released after posting cash bail.

He said that over the weekend the police had denied the opposition permission to hold the protests and that any gathering would be illegal.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga insisted on Sunday that the protests would go ahead as planned and that protesters would march on State House, the president’s official residence.

He said that Kenyans have a constitutional right to demonstrate and that the role of the police is to protect them after they issue advance notice.

Opposition protests in Kenya
A protester throws bottles at police in Nairobi (Ben Curtis/AP)

Police were heavily deployed at the State House, and motorists and pedestrians were prevented from accessing the road there.

Most shops in Nairobi’s central business district were closed on Monday as business owners feared looting.

Among the leaders who were arrested were Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo and MPs Opiyo Wandati and Amina Mnyazi.

Other politicians who had turned up at the designated meeting point in the city were dispersed by police using tear gas. They withdrew to the parliament buildings, where they announced that the protests would continue into the afternoon.

In the past, the Kenyan opposition has staged violent demonstrations in which people have been killed.


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