Two die in Kisumu as CORD holds anti-IEBC protests

June 6, 2016 6:21 pm
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 Odinga who was accompanied by Senators Moses Wetangula, James Orengo, Bonny Khalwale and Nick Salat of KANU led hundreds of protesters from Uhuru Park through city streets to Anniversary Towers where IEBC offices are located/KEVIN GITAU
Odinga who was accompanied by Senators Moses Wetangula, James Orengo, Bonny Khalwale and Nick Salat of KANU led hundreds of protesters from Uhuru Park through city streets to Anniversary Towers where IEBC offices are located/KEVIN GITAU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6- The situation was chaotic in Kisumu on Monday after police clashed with anti-IEBC protesters leading to the deaths of two people, even as CORD leader Raila Odinga led what he termed peaceful protests in Nairobi.

It was not immediately clear what led to the deaths of the two people, with locals accusing police of shooting them, leaving more than five others—including a five year old boy with serious injuries.

In Nairobi, Odinga who was accompanied by Senators Moses Wetangula, James Orengo, Bonny Khalwale and Nick Salat of KANU led hundreds of protesters from Uhuru Park through city streets to Anniversary Towers where IEBC offices are located

Contrary to previous demonstrations where they were confronted and stopped by police, the group was allowed to march through Kenyatta Avenue, Moi Avenue, and University Way through to Uhuru Highway ending the protests at Uhuru Park where they were addressed by their leaders. No ugly incident was witnessed as police stayed away only resorting to watch from a distance.

In Kisumu however, property of unknown property was destroyed, as protestors engaged police in running battles.

The group took to the streets after the High court declined to stop the protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, instead ordering police to provide them with security.

Justice Joseph Onguto ruled that the demonstrators are exercising their democratic right under the constitution and must be allowed to picket.

He made the ruling in a case lodged by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and four other Jubilee legislators who had wanted the protests stopped.

Odinga while addressing his supporters at Uhuru Park said they will continue to pile more pressure on the Government and IEBC commissioners, until they heed to their demands.

He warned that the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) will protest for two days in a week, if the Government fails to select a special team for the proposed dialogue on the ongoing IEBC stalemate.

“It is just a matter of time before the IEBC commissioners go…we respect the Government, but they must listen to us,” Odinga asserted.

Addressing hundreds of supporters at Uhuru Park, after a peaceful march within the CBD and past IEBC offices, Odinga insisted that the electoral reforms must be made before next year’s elections.

“We want an electoral body that can inspire public confidence before 2017 among other pertinent issues,” Odinga said.

The charged but peaceful demonstrators were also addressed by Senator Wetangula, who said among the changes they want include efficient voters registration across all parts of the country and issuance of Identity Cards.

“We are peaceful people and we have proven that today,” Wetangula asserted, after a successful protest, without the use of teargas or water canon.

Unlike the previous protests, there was no police presence in all the routes the opposition supporters used, besides a few anti-riot officers who were manning the IEBC offices.

The protestors started their journey in Kibera to Uhuru Park and eventually the CBD, and despite carrying stones, they remained peaceful.

“We want IEBC to go,” they would chant.

From Kibera, the protestors were guided by motorbike riders who led the way and another group of ‘peace marshals’, just to ensure the long arm of the law, as police had warned don’t come in to restore order.

Smugglers who normally take advantage of such incidents were however not spared by the supporters, as soon as they were spotted.

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