, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – Anti-riot police officers have been mobilized in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and other counties where NASA demonstrations are set to continue on Wednesday even after Opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the presidential race.
The officers have been directed to ensure there is order as the protests take place amid calls for changes at the electoral body.
Odinga pulled out of the fresh presidential election Tuesday, arguing that the contest with incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta cannot be free and fair under existing circumstances.
But the move has been dismissed by President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto, who termed the withdrawal inconsequential, insisting elections must proceed.
Odinga wants the IEBC to cancel the October 26 election and call for fresh nominations, ahead of a new election within three months.
He argues the three months are sufficient for reforms to be undertaken at IEBC.
Opposition supporters have held demonstrations in Nairobi, Machakos, Kisumu, Kakamega and other parts of the country in their continued quest for reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission before the election.
In Nairobi, at least five people sustained injuries on Monday when a speeding vehicle ran over them while another was shot by an armed motorist as the protesters marched to IEBC headquarters where they were addressed by several leaders – including Senator James Orengo.
In Kisumu, police fired in the air and lobbed teargas at the demonstrators when they turned chaotic on their way back from the IEBC offices in the lakeside town, even though they had been urged to maintain peace by local legislator Fred Ouda.
At least six protesters were arrested in Machakos where police lobbed teargas to disperse demonstrators who paralysed business and transport there, but no casualty was reported.