Arrests as Kenya opposition leads anti-government protests

Arrests As Kenya Opposition Leads Anti-Government Protests
Police used teargas to disperse demonstrators demanding the resignation of Kenya's president William Ruto. Photo: PA Images
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Evelyne Musambi, Associated Press

At least three Kenyan legislators and several protesters have been arrested during protests organised by the opposition demanding the resignation of the country's president William Ruto.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga joined thousands of demonstrators in the capital Nairobi and announced weekly demonstrations until the president resigns or the cost of living goes down.


Mr Odinga’s convoy of dozens of cars drove around the city after being blocked from accessing the central business district.

He made public addresses on several stops and his motorcade was tear gassed several times by police. In response his supporters pelted officers with stones.

Kenya Opposition Protests
Protesters taunt police next to a barricade in the Kibera slum of Nairobi (Ben Curtis/AP)


The opposition says Mr Ruto was not validly elected in August 2022 elections, and are blaming his administration for the rising cost of living.

Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei said those arrested would be released after paying bail.

Over the weekend he said police had denied the opposition permission to hold their protests and any congregation would be illegal.

Mr Odinga insisted the protests would proceed as planned and demonstrators would march to State House, the official residence of the president.


The opposition leader said Kenyan citizens have a constitutional right to demonstrate and the role of the police is to protect them after they issue a notification in advance.

Kenya Opposition Protests
A protester throws bottles towards police in Nairobi (Ben Curtis/AP)

Police have been heavily deployed to State House, with motorists and pedestrians being stopped from accessing the road there.


Most shops in Nairobi’s central business district closed on Monday as business owners feared looting.

Kenya’s deputy president Rigathi Gachagua said the country has lost about 2 billion Kenyan shillings due to Monday’s protests. He urged Mr Odinga to call off the protests and think about the losses to the economy.

The arrested leaders include senate minority leader Stewart Madzayo and members of parliament Opiyo Wandayi and Amina Mnyazi.

Other legislators who turned up at the designated meeting point were dispersed by police with tear gas. They retreated to parliament buildings where they announced that protests would continue through the afternoon.


Kenya’s opposition has in the past held violent demonstrations in which people have died.

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