October 17th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

One shot dead, several injured as police disperse riotous crowds at aborted Uhuru rally in Isiolo

Reports indicated that the riots at the rally were due to a clash between rival factions supporting President Kenyatta and opposition elements. The police officers guarding the president shot in the air to disperse the riotous crowds forcing President Kenyatta to cut short his trip.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comSaturday, 20 May 2017 19:54 EAT

President Kenyatta heckled out of Isiolo rally. (Footage from Citizen TV).

Police officers shot dead a 21-year-old man identified as Ibrahim Mohammed Huka after a campaign rally led by President Uhuru Kenyatta turned violent in Isiolo Town this afternoon. There were conflicting accounts as to whether the man was killed on purpose or by a stray bullet.

Reports indicated that the riots at the rally were due to a clash between rival factions supporting President Kenyatta and opposition elements. The police officers guarding the president shot in the air to disperse the riotous crowds forcing President Kenyatta to cut short his trip.

There had been tension between supporters of three strong gubernatorial candidates supporting the president, Abdul Bahari of Jubilee Party, incumbent Governor Godana Doyo running on the Party for Democracy and Reforms and Senator Mohamed Kuti who is an independent candidate).

The leader of majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale and local Member of Parliament Joseph Samal were blocked by the crowds from addressing the meeting. Only President Kenyatta addressed the rally for a brief period and left shortly afterwards.

Isiolo County supported President Kenyatta to a man in 2013 general elections but fall-outs among leaders have seen the president's supporters scatter in several camps in the run-up to this election, often working at cross-purposes.

The differences among leaders have taken a sharp tribal angle with several camps emerging that support a set of candidates from their preferred tribes. Last month, senator Mohamed Kuti, once a foremost supporter of the president, resigned from Jubilee party to launch an independent run.

Governor Doyo also resigned from the party to join PDR, which has attracted several leaders from the northern Kenya. Mr Bahari, a former Tana and Athi River Development Authority chairman, was favoured by the Jubilee leaders. This is the second time the president's rally in Isiolo has been marked by violence.

The differences in Jubilee camp have created opportunities for the opposition, with Wiper and ODM running candidates with better prospects for winning than previously expected.

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