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Last week and today’s protests similarities and differences

When the Azimio la Umoja party leader Raila Odinga announced Monday 20, 2023, as a maandamano day, a considerable number of Kenyans, especially in areas of his stronghold, heeded the call.

Similarly, when he announced that every Monday and Thursday, there would be protests, his supporters ‘obeyed.’ However, today’s protests are different from last week, with anti-riot police officers being strategically positioned in some areas in Nairobi.

For instance, there were a good number of anti-riot police in the Central Business District (CBD) Moi Avenue- Archives Kencom junction, police at the City Hall Way outside Holy Family Basilica, Kangemi, tight security at the processional way, Denis Pritt and arboretum drive.

Some roads have since been blocked, like the State House/ Jakaya Kikwete roundabout General Service Unit (GSU) roadblock at Kinoo.

Also read: Police ban Azimio protests, warn Kenyans on participation

Unlike last week, police are prepared as they readily await the rioters. Water cannon tracks are also strategically positioned. Some sections of Nairobi have continued their daily activities like normal, with no tensions.

Nonetheless, some Kenyans remain unmoved by the growing tension, with some of them burning tires in Kibera around Olympic, police officers in Kisumu have lobbed teargas canisters around Kisumu Boys roundabout to keep protesters from accessing the city, and another law enforcer has dispersed a crowd that was gathering at the Congo stage in Kawangware.

In Bondo, youths have lit bonfires as they gather, ready to begin demonstrating, while former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has promised to join Kakamega residents in protesting later on in the day.

Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome has insisted that the protests by Azimio are illegal and promised to deal with Kenyans who participated in the protests. He also vowed to deal with the big guns leading the protests in the same measure.

Mr Odinga, on his part, has intimated that the demonstrations shall continue as planned, asking Kenyans to join him in his bid.

Also read: Maandamano Monday and Thursday remain as scheduled – Raila Odinga