Hundreds of Kenya’s National Super Alliance (NASA) party supporters were dispersed by riot police with tear gas Monday morning as they marched in protest calling for the sack of some electoral commission officials.
They want the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO Ezra Chiloba and other commissioners to be sacked for allegedly rigging the August 8 elections in favour of the ruling Jubilee party.
The protesters in the port city of Kisumu burned car tyres, blocked roads and lit bonfires before the police shot tear gas to disperse them as they planned marching to the electoral commission offices, local media portal Daily Nation reported.
The police said the protesters were not given approval and were informed not to hold the demonstration due to security concerns.
“We received communication last night to stop the planned demonstrations and have informed the organisers about it,” Kisumu county police commander Tito Kilonzo told reporters.
The Member of Parliament for Kisumu Central, Fred Ouda, led the failed demonstration and accused the police of denying them their rights.
“We can’t be picketing peacefully and we are being tear-gassed. We only want to match to the IEBC offices and present our memorandum,” he was quoted by Daily Nation.
The protests were also gathering steam in Kakamega, Mombasa, Homa Bay and capital Nairobi where security has been beefed up to stop the planned opposition protests.
NASA leader and presidential candidate Raila Odinga warned the police not to attack or stop protesters from exercising their rights.
He vowed that until their demands are met, there will be demonstrations every Monday and Friday, and they will not be ready for the October 26 election re-run.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has also called on the public to ignore calls to demonstrate.