Maandamano? Akothee encounters angry mob in Kendu Bay
Several people, including Kenyan musician Esther Akoth, popularly known as Akothee, have reported on social media that they have encountered angry mobs in Nyanza believed to be gathering for today’s protests by Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition.
According to Akothee, she and her staff ran into a mob in Kendu Bay, Homa Bay County. The musician narrated what it took for them to be granted passage.
“Hey, anyone traveling tonight be warned. I just passed Kendu Bay and they have blocked the road with stones and carrying pangas (machetes). They have allowed me to pass but trust me, I almost pooped on myself. Be safe . They told us to put leaves on our car and wished us safe journey. No Idea who they are, just be safe,” Akothee said.
She also said that her producer lost his belongings, including a laptop, while traveling in Kisii last Friday.
In response, several of Akothee’s followers shared their unconfirmed encounters with angry mobs on the roads.
“Me too, my PA was attacked. Everything went including his bag. It was along Keroka-Kisii road,” said Peter Ecope.
“Passed Kendu Bay at around 8pm there was a lot of tension thanks be to the Lord I am home already,” said Gladys Kemboi.
“True. I just passed the town towards 9pm and I saw the stones being moved closer to the road and I fear for the school buses returning from Migori,” George Vallens said.
— Muser (@themugo_) July 12, 2023
Today will see the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leaders resume its nationwide anti-government protests and signature collection exercise aimed at ‘stripping the government of legitimacy’.
This even as President William Ruto vowed to maintain peace and order while accusing the opposition, led by Raila Odinga, of plotting to sabotage his government.
The protests will come just a day after Mr Odinga launched a website, tumechoka.net, which he will use to collect 15 million signatures from Kenyans in an effort to remove President Ruto and his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, from office.
There were fears that the maandamano would coincide with two other strikes from the public transport sector and taxi drivers using hailing apps.
The Taxi Association in Kenya is demanding that the government addresses the cost of fuel, pay rates, traffic police intimidation and insecurity. On the other hand, the public service sector are opposed to the mandatory re-testing exercise conducted by the National Transport and Safety Authority.
On Tuesday, in an effort to avert the matatus strike, the government halted the retesting of drivers of commercial and public service vehicles until September 1.
This was after the Long Distance Drivers and Conductors Association (Lodca) and the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union (Kldawu) issued strike notices, stating that they would down their tools from today.