November 23rd 2017

Top Stories / National

Day of death as police open fire on Nyanza NASA protesters, assault MP in Nairobi

"The constitution says it is up to police to protect those demonstrating and protect peoples property. We presume Matiang'i's order was hot air. From here we are marching to IEBC headquarters as we have always done."

By Njuguna Kirunkiru@kenyafreepress.comFriday, 13 Oct 2017 19:22 EAT

Saboti MP Caleb Amisi gets out of his after the police fired teargas into it.

Three opposition protesters were shot dead in Bondo Town this morning and two others were reportedly killed in Kisumu on a bloody day in which police officers opened live fire on demonstrators. At least fifty people were treated for teargas intoxication or gunshot wounds across Siaya, Homa Bay and Kisumu counties.

In Kisumu, over 20 nursery school pupils from the Carmel Academy were rushed to hospital after they were caught up and hit in anti-IEBC demos. Police fired into the pupils' classrooms despite the fact that demos were not taking part in the school, according to eyewitnesses. The Red Cross attended to the pupils before taking them to hospital.

In Migori Town, a 75-year grandmother was shot by lethal fire as she walked from a hospital where she had undergone treatment and was on her way home. Local police boss said the matter was under investigation.

This website received gruesome pictures of the casualties and other shooting survivors from Kisumu and Homa Bay. One showed a victim's forehead ripped by bullets. Graphic scenes captured Red Cross workers rushing the injured to hospital, some shot below the knew or the arms.

In Nairobi, police used teargas to disperse protesters to effect a ban by Interior CS Fred Matiangi as opposition leaders vowed not to defy the ban which they termed illegal. NASA leaders rebuked Matiangi's ban of their demonstrations in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa's city centres as demonstrations went on as police fired teargas to stop protesters from entering central business district.

NASA leaders addressed the media at Capital Hill Plaza and at Uhuru Park. Siaya Senator James Orengo stated the planned demonstrations will continue as they haven’t been issued with a written directive as to why they shouldn’t proceed with the demonstrations, which would prompt them to contest the bank at the High Court.

“We are ready to go into town and we will be talking to you as the demonstration unfolds throughout the day” said Orengo, one of NASA's lawyers. He said the ban violates the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful picketing.

Quoting Judges Isaac Lenaola and George Onguta, Orengo maintained it was the responsibility of the police to provide security for those participating in the demonstrations. He also warned President Kenyatta against signing the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill which the government has pushed through Parliament.

He dismissed claims that a section of their supporters have caused grave damage to private property either by looting or pelting stones. "We have been peaceful since we started our demos. It is only some bad elements, who are not NASA supporters, who have taken advantage to loot property around KenCom and Koja Mosque. Police should investigate and prosecute those found guilty."

Orengo said they asked IG Joseph Boinnet and other security agencies for explanations on why their mass action has been banned in the cities. He said they need to explain this in writing and that if dissatisfied, they will move to court.

"The constitution says it is up to police to protect those demonstrating and protect peoples property. We presume Matiang'i's order was hot air. From here we are marching to IEBC headquarters as we have always done."

He said Kenya was headed back to one-party rule as Uhuru was pushing through laws that favoured him as a person rather than the country. "We can, for sure, say Kenya is turning into a banana republic. We strongly condemn such moves and assure that our quest for justice shall go on."

The Nairobi demos were led by Orengo and senators George Khaniri and Beatrice Kwamboka and MPs Caleb Amisi Luyai, George Aladwa, Junet Mohamed, Mishi Mboko, Otiende Amolo, Chris Wamalwa, Paul Abuor and Gladys Wanga among others.

The police fired teargas into the car of Saboti MP Caleb Amisi, forcing the MP to get out of the car near a scene of confrontation between NASA and Jubilee supporters earlier allowed to assemble on Moi Avenue. 

Protests were heldp also in Mombasa, Kakamega, Busia and and other towns, but they were largely peaceful. In Mombasa, the police tried to block protesters from accessing the central business district. 

Additional reporting by Free Press Correspondent.

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