, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – Attempts by CORD leaders led by Raila Odinga to stage a sit-in at Anniversary Towers on Monday failed after anti-riot police officers dispersed them using teargas and water cannon.
The CORD leaders gathered at Capitol Hill before driving towards the city centre and to Anniversary Towers. When they drive towards the IEBC offices, they were met with teargas forcing them to speed off as those on foot scampered for safety.
Police had outlawed the protest and did not allow any grouping along University Way unlike during the last three similar demonstrations.
The police denied claims by Senator James Orengo of having reported to authorities plans by hooligans to infiltrate their protest.
Coalition Management Board Co-Chair Johnson Muthama had stated that, “the demonstrations will only be called off after all IEBC Commissioners vacate office.”
Human rights monitors were present to ensure officers don’t infringe on the rights of the protestors, following cases of police brutality during the previous protest.
“We just want to record any case of police brutality since the law is clear on how police should deal with protestors,” a human right official said.
Uniformed and plain clothes officers were strategically positioned in the CBD, to avert any cases of looting and attacks targeting members of the public.
“We don’t want people want to allow looters to do what they did last time,” a senior police officers was overheard saying.
Another group of officers was patrolling the city, to ensure law and order was maintained.
“Business has to go as usual in our big city…” a senior officer told Capital FM News.
Even with the high number of police officers, many businesses along Moi Avenue remained closed though there were no cases of looting.
During the protest, some onlookers were injured as they scampered for safety.
Similar protests were held in various places including Kisumu and Mombasa.
In Kisumu, the protests kicked off as demonstrators started marching from Kondele towards the town centre.
Businesses remained closed as CORD supporters took to the streets with many traders fearing vandalism.
Nyanza Police Coordinator Willy Lugusa had earlier stated that the anti-IEBC protests in Kisumu would only go ahead if they were peaceful.