, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – Police are now urging anyone who may have been assaulted, robbed or suffered any kind of loss during mounting NASA protests to file a formal complaint.
Police Spokesman George Kinoti says detectives are already investigating several cases of assault, looting and property destruction in Nairobi, Kisumu and other parts of the country where protests were held.
This follows videos and pictures that have gone viral on social media in which protesters are seen stoning motorists, looting and vandalising property.
“We are requesting anyone who may have been assaulted, robbed or suffered a loss of any nature during Monday 9th or Wednesday 11th anti-IEBC demonstrations to report to the nearest police station,” Kinoti advised.
In Nairobi, several buildings were destroyed and property looted in streets where the protesters passed to the offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
In one case, the NASA supporters were captured stealing beverages from a helpless trader.
Siaya Senator James Orengo has declared the NASA demonstrations will now be held on a daily basis starting next week.
He said unlike before when the protests were calling for the removal of IEBC officials believed to have bungled the August 8 election, they will also be piling pressure on the electoral body to hold a fresh election inclusive of their leader Raila Odinga.
This follows Odinga’s withdrawal from the October 26 presidential election, where he cited an unfavourable environment to hold a credible election.
“Raila must be on the ballot but in a free and transparent election. Today’s demonstrations are meant to show the Kenyan people and Chebukati (IEBC Chairperson) that there can never be an election without Raila Odinga,” he said.
He was speaking outside the IEBC headquarters on University Way after leading thousands of supporters around the city. He was joined by other NASA leaders including Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and MP John Mbadi.
On his part, the Mombasa Governor appealed to their supporters to remain peaceful, even as they call for the removal of IEBC officials and a credible election.
“Raila Odinga is not alone,” he said.
Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama said they will camp on roads if IEBC “continues with plans to hold an election on October 26. We will make sure all roads are impassable.”
It’s not yet clear what decision IEBC will take, amid demands for cancellation of the poll and calling another in 90 days as demanded by NASA.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto on their part insist Kenyans must be given a chance to decide who will be their leader.
“We are ready for an election whether he will be on the ballot or not. Yesterday, he said it is his democratic right not to participate, we tell him also, it is the people’s right to participate in an election; to chose their leaders,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday.
“So whether you are there or not, we are proceeding to the people who have the sovereign right to elect the leaders of their choice.”
After all, President Kenyatta said there is nowhere in the constitution, “where it says Raila Amollo Odinga must be on the ballot.”
On his part, Ruto says it is now up to IEBC to decide if it will hold the elections or declare Kenyatta President-elect.
“We are ready if the IEBC will say, now that there is no other candidate, the one who has remained, Uhuru Kenyatta, be declared the President of the Republic of Kenya. We are ready,” he asserted.
According to Ruto, it is the NASA leader’s democratic right to choose whether to be on the ballot or not but, “it is the democratic right of 45 million Kenyans to go into an election which they have chosen. It cannot be determined by one person.”
But Odinga argues that “it is our conviction that our withdrawal is in the best interest of the country and a win-win for everyone.”