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Eric Omondi arrested leading premature protests in CBD

Kenyan comedian Eric Omondi was arrested in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) on Monday while leading a demonstration protesting the high cost of living.

Anti-riot police officers surrounded him within minutes while he was addressing a small crowd at Kenyatta Avenue, and they were forced to use teargas to disperse the gathering.

Omondi’s convoy had started at Moi Avenue and made stops along Kenyatta Avenue to address residents.

Also read: Comedian Eric Omondi’s family react to his arrest, court date

The police, seemingly on high alert, ambushed him while he was speaking and took him away.

This was not the first time Omondi had called for lower living costs.

He had previously led protests outside the Parliament Buildings. Despite respecting Azimo leader Mr Raila Odinga, he faulted him for engaging with the government at a time when the cost of living remained high.

Standing on a makeshift platform in the middle of Kenyatta Avenue, Omondi used a megaphone to shout, “Today I’m not leaving here. I will die here if I have to and the generations that will come after me will be told of a young man who fought for the rights of Kenyas. I’m ready to die for Kenyans.”

He added, “Hata polisi wanatumia stima. Hata polisi wanalipa rent (Even the police use electricity. They also pay rent so the feel the pinch),” the comedian said.

Also read: Eric Omondi bails out trader who was jailed for failing to pay Sh10,000 fine

One of the police officers at the scene mentioned that the police were alerted about the situation and responded within the shortest time in large numbers.

“There is actually nothing serious. We just responded to the call and realize that it was just the usual comedy of Omondi,” the officer told Nairobi News.

The response from the police was in line with earlier remarks from Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who said that the security officers were vigilant and on full alert following intelligence that hooligans were set to take advantage of the chaos to loot and steal.

He added that all lawbreakers would be swiftly apprehended and prosecuted in accordance with the law.

The demonstration took place hours after Mr Odinga called off a similar protest. Nonetheless, Omondi continued with the demonstration, and his arrest marked the latest in a string of arrests related to the demonstrations. It remains unclear what charges he will face following his arrest.

Also read: Eric Omondi arrested while carting CVs to State House Nairobi