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Bandits? Eliud Owalo dismisses Azimio Kisumu protests

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo has dismissed as ‘bandits’ protestors who heeded the mass action calls by Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

A bandit is a robber or outlaw belonging to a gang and typically operating in an isolated or lawless area.

The protestors are reported to have stormed a meeting by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) officials in Kisumu city on March 15, 2023.

Owalo, whose ministry manages the CAK, was not present at the meeting when the protestors stormed in and reportedly assaulted CAK chair Ezra Chiloba.

“Eye-witness accounts indicate the bandits destroyed CA property at the venue and took off with items whose value is still unknown,” Owalo wrote on his social media.

“It is regrettable that a group of youth, ostensibly doing a demo in Kisumu, this morning disrupted an official function of the Communication Authority (CA), presided over by Chiloba. They also threw objects at Mr. Chiloba’s official vehicle, in an attempt to vandalize it,” he added.

“Mr. Chiloba and other CA officials and guests narrowly escaped unhurt. This is lowly banditry and hooliganism. It is hugely regrettable. There is no place for such base conduct in social order.”

Chiloba was officiating the celebration to mark world consumer’s rights day at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga sports complex.

Owalo was supposed to be the guest speaker.

In a video seen by Nairobi News, the rowdy youths were heard shouting Owalo’s name.

This caused panic in the area, leading to Chiloba taking cover.

Shouting ‘Ruto Must Go’, the protestors moved around Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city but were stopped by police from using the road that leads to the State Lodge.

Mr Odinga has called for nationwide protests in a bid to put pressure on President William Ruto’s government to lower the cost of living.

Owalo’s sentiments come a few hours after President William Ruto called on Mr Odinga to oversee peaceful demonstrations.

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