6 October 2017

Kenya: Looting As Nasa's Anti-IEBC Demos Turn Ugly in Nyanza

Photo: Barack Oduor/Daily Nation
Nasa protesters block main roads in Homa Bay town as they demand resignation of IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba.

Nasa protesters on Friday left a trail of destruction in Kisumu after taking to the streets to push for reforms at the electoral commission.

The demonstrators broke into and looted Tumaini Supermarket and vandalized water pipes belonging to Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (Kiwasco).

NO WATER

The protesting youth broke the windows and main entrance of the supermarket, attacked staff before looting.

Security guards told the Nation the looters carried away computer monitors from the point of sale and stock, including chairs from the supermarket’s café.

The vandals who broke Kiwasco water pipes affected water supply to more than six estates of the lakeside town.

Kisumu is one of Kenyan towns that face acute water shortage despite the fact that it is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world.

In a statement to its customers, Kiwasco said water supply had been stopped to Tom Mboya, CBD, Milimani, Migosi, Nyawita, Lolwe Migosi and Mamboleo.

HOMA BAY

“Our water lines have been destroyed and it is the reason we have shut down the lines to avoid further wastage of the commodity,” the company said.

The destruction saw the police abandon their watch-and-see approach and take on the demonstrators.

The officers used teargas and water cannons to disperse the protesters, who responded with rocks.

The chaos brought business to a standstill as traders closed shops out of fear of looting.

In Homa Bay, Governor Cyprian Awiti was among demonstrators teargassed as protests against the IEBC turned chaotic.

His Deputy Hamilton Orata was clobbered by the police after protests turned violent.

FORCE

Mr Awiti and his county executive for finance were whisked to safety by his security team, but they had already been choked by the first round of canisters hurled at them.

Mr Awiti had led the protesters to gain access into the compound of IEBC offices in Homa Bay Town. But Homa Bay Police Boss Essau Ochorokodi had earlier warned the protesters that no violent protests would be tolerated in the town.

"We cannot allow demonstrators to stage protests aimed at causing violence," said Mr Ochorokodi.

Mr Awiti later accused the police officers of using excessive force in handling the protesters whom he described as peaceful.

"It is wrong for police to use excessive force against harmless protesters. We shall seek redress with the county commandant and county commissioner over actions of the police," he said.

Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata said he they shall contuinue with the protests on Monday.

"We shall continue with the protests until IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba resigns from the commission," said Mr Chiloba.

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