Neelam Rahim | email@example.com
28 March 2023 | 19:27 CAT
Police in Kenya have used water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters who marched on Monday in the streets of the capital, Nairobi, defying a government ban on rallies.
The protesters defied a warning by the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome that the demonstrations in Nairobi and the western city of Kisumu, an Odinga stronghold, were “illegal”.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, Channel Africa Producer and Africa Affairs Analyst Nixon Katembo said the protests have subsided. However, the opposition leaders have called protests every Monday and Thursday against the government of President William Ruto in claims of his failure to address the high cost of living.
According to Katembo, the call may be heeded by opposition followers as there are many issues the Kenyan population is raising.
Kenya’s police chief on Sunday announced a ban on the fresh protests called by Odinga, saying such acts remained illegal.
“We have been restraining ourselves. We cannot do that anymore. We are ready as the police force to maintain peace,” Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Odinga accuses Ruto of cheating in last year’s presidential election.
Ruto said last week that the protests were hurting businesses and ordinary people.
Odinga, a former prime minister, has lost five elections in a row in his bid to be the president. He challenged the most recent result before the Supreme Court, which upheld Ruto’s victory.
Listen to the full interview with presenter Annisa Essack and her guest Nixon Katembo on Radio Islam’s podcast.