Opposition protests continue on streets of Kenya’s capital

Opposition MP Raila Odinga calls for biweekly protests in light of rising costs and anti-government sentiment

Man stretches out his arms during protest in Nairobi
President Ruto has asked Ordinga to ‘face him directly’
(Image credit: Donwilson Odhiambo/Getty Images)

Thousands have taken to the streets in Nairobi, Kenya to protest against President William Ruto’s government and rising living costs, even though police chief Japheth Koome declared the protests illegal.

Opposition leader, Raila Odinga, seems to be “leading the protests”, said The Washington Post, as Odinga called for Ruto’s resignation and the lowering of food prices, while also encouraging people to “take to the streets twice a week”, on Mondays and Thursdays.

Last week’s protests turned violent and were met by police who used tear gas and water cannons to “disperse protesters”.

The marches resulted in the death of one person and the arrest of more than 200, reported Al Jazeera. Some of those arrested were lawmakers associated with Odinga’s One Kenya Coalition Party.

Odinga, a former prime minister, has lost five elections in a row and believes Ruto cheated in last year’s election, even though the results were upheld by the Supreme Court.

A gas-cylinder factory linked to Odinga has been vandalised in the last few days, and a family farm, owned by Odinga’s ally, the former President Uhuru Kenyatta, was partially set on fire, according to the BBC.

“Post-election violence is nothing new in Kenya,” said the BBC, “but attacks on the property of political leaders signals a big shift.” Usually, there is some sort of “gentleman’s agreement”, the broadcaster added, but these recent attacks “call that general understanding into question”.

Over the weekend Ruto asked Ordinga to “face him directly”, said The Washington Post, and to “stop terrorising the country”.

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