Nairobi streets deserted ahead of opposition protests

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 19 Jul, 2023 09:35 | 2 mins read
Nairobi streets deserted ahead of opposition protests
City streets deserted ahead of protests. PHOTO/Courtesy

Streets in Nairobi's Central Business District (CBD) remained deserted for the better part of Wednesday morning due to planned anti-government demonstrations.

Most businesses were closed as traders avoided the city over fears of violent protests witnessed in recent demonstrations.

Near empty streets in Nairobi. PHOTO/Courtesy

The usually congested streets remained calm and only a few pedestrians and motorists were spotted heading to work.

Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition is expected to lead demonstrations in the city and several other parts of the country later in the day to protest against the high cost of living.

According to Azimio leader Raila Odinga, the 'third wave' of anti-government protests will continue until Friday this week.

Nairobi streets deserted ahead of opposition protests. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome on Tuesday outlawed the protests, saying the Azimio leaders had not notified the police of the planned demos.

"The National Police Service (NPS) takes cognizance of the information circulating via the media, of planned demonstrations in various parts of the Country from tomorrow, Wednesday, July 19-21, 2023. Contrary to the legal requirements, no organizers/planners of the purported demonstrations have notified the Police of such gatherings," Koome said in a statement.

Citing last week's protests that left a trail of destruction of property and loss of lives, the IG termed the planned demos a threat to national security and vowed to arrest and prosecute anyone found engaging in the activities.

"While Article 37 of the Constitution gives the right to assemble, demonstrate and picket, lessons from recent similar demonstrations that left trails of destruction of property, injuries and loss of lives, clearly indicate that such demonstrations are nothing but a threat to national security.

"In line with NPS mandate to maintain law and order; protect life and property; and preserve peace, we wish to inform the public that any demonstrations that will be held in any part of Kenya on Wednesday July 19, 2023 will be dealt with promptly in accordance with the law," he added.

At the same time, the IG urged members of the public to go about their usual activities.

"We therefore urge all law-abiding members of public to carry-on with their daily activities, and commend all NPS Officers for their continued patriotism, selfless and dedicated service to our Country," the IG stated.

At least eight people were reportedly killed during last Wednesday's demos in the country. Half of the victims were shot dead in Mlolongo, Machakos County, where angry protesters engaged police in running battles for the better part of the day.

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