Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong’o flip-flops on Azimio demos
Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has made an about-turn on his earlier statement to suspend riots in the lakeside city.
The county boss released a statement on the evening of March 29, 2023, requesting protestors in the city to peacefully go about their business.
“We urge our people to continue with the peaceful demonstrations tomorrow,” he explained in a statement.
He noted the change of tune follows further consultation with Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga.
“We believe in the rights of Kenyans to peacefully assemble, petition, and demonstrate against the government. These expressive and speech rights are included in the constitution. We in Azimio fought for these basic rights,” he added.
He said that he had been forced to recant his earlier statement following consultations with his colleagues.
Nyong’o had earlier on the same day announced an indefinite suspension of protests in Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city, saying hooligans had infiltrated the demonstrations destroying property and harassing innocent members of the public.
He instead asked demonstrators from the city to travel and join Azimio supporters to protest in Nairobi.
“It was painful what happened in Kisumu City on Monday. It is not an easy balance,” he said.
The idea was condemned by Azimio leader Raila Odinga who is the political leader of the region.
He said: “I have asked them to announce that there will be demonstrations in Kisumu, like it will happen in the rest of the country.”
The law however does not hand a sitting governor the power to call for or cancel demos
Mr Odinga has been leading protests in the country with an aim of putting pressure on President William Ruto to lower the cost oif living and dialogue over electoral reforms.