Kenya: Nasa Demonstrations Registered Improved Turnout Monday

Photo: Capital FM
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.
9 October 2017

Nairobi — The National Super Alliance demonstrations entered the third week on Monday, with police and supporters of the Coalition slowly building a bond unlike at the beginning where they would not be allowed to assemble.

It was even branded "Teargas Monday" but not even a single canister was spent.

More supporters poured to Nairobi's Central Business District compared to other times, with anti-riot officers only watching at a distance while several vehicles ferrying armed security personnel closely followed them to ensure their safety and to prevent goons from infiltrating, which was largely the case in other parts of the country.

At some point, NASA leaders and their followers would be seen waving at the police.

"Peace, peace, peace... " the supporters would be heard saying every time they passed a huge contingent of police officers.

Following last week's low key protests, where only a handful of supporters joined the Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris in the city, senior NASA leaders led by Siaya Senator James Orengo and National Assembly leader of minority John Mbadi were present.

Other leaders who were present include Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, MP Simba Arati, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris and her Homa Bay counterpart Gladys Wanga.

Their message, however, remained the same; that there must be reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for the presidential re-run to be held, which is a few weeks away.

"We want to say that there will be no elections without reforms," Senator Orengo said amid cheers from supporters.

Despite their consistent call, the international community has asked NASA and their Jubilee counterparts to drop their demands, some of them which they term as unrealistic, and instead allow IEBC to execute its constitutional mandate to avoid a constitutional crisis.

While NASA is demonstrating to demand reforms at the IEBC, Jubilee wants to make electoral changes, a move that has been condemned as likely to raise political tension in the country and hurt an already affected economy.

Most businesses adjacent to the IEBC headquarters along the University Way were closed for the better part of the day.

- NASA supporters injured -

Early Monday, at least four people sustained injuries a few minutes after the National Super Alliance anti-IEBC demonstration kicked off from Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

According to witnesses accounts, trouble started after one person allegedly grabbed a phone from a motorist, who happened to be armed.

One person alighted from the vehicle, which had a public system address mounted on it, fired in the air and shot the man's right leg.

That attracted attention from hundreds of supporters who started hurling stones at the vehicle.

The driver, who was now speeding off immediately the other person boarded the vehicle hit three other people who sustained injuries.

One protester suffered a fractured leg.

"They want to kill us," the agitated crowds complained.

After a brief moment, the agitated protesters poured into the Nairobi Central Business District chanting slogans against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

- NASA women defend Odinga -

Earlier, two legislators affiliated to the National Super Alliance joined by tens of women supporters, defended their leader Raila Odinga from claims that he asked women to strip during anti-IEBC protests.

Last week, a video went viral where the NASA presidential is allegedly heard telling women that he wants to see "more chupis" (panties) eliciting a heated debate on social media platforms.

But Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris and her Homabay counterpart Gladys Wanga now say the video was edited.

"They want to discredit Baba as an enemy of women," the Nairobi Woman Representative said.

Wanga added that "we shall not be distracted from our mission. That's to ensure there are reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

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