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Makau Mutua faults police for violent protests

Azimio la Umoja spokesperson Prof Makau Mutua has faulted the police for violent demonstrations, claiming they have been provoking the public by firing teargas and water cannons at them.

In his post on Twitter, Prof Mutua suggested that if police let the protesters, be then the protests will be peaceful. His sentiments come after Azimio la Umoja escalated their protests for the second week running.

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“When the police don’t show up, or rush the people, the demos are peaceful — completely peaceful. Let those who have ears hear, and those who have eyes see. In Embakasi South and the massive crowds couldn’t be more peaceful. We have officially entered into the Velvet Revolution,” he tweeted.

The coalition, under the leadership of Raila Odinga, Martha Karua and Kalonzo Musyoka, have been staging the protests in an effort to compel President William Ruto’s administration meet their demands, including addressing the issue of high cost of living.

However, the protests have led to widescale damage to property and even loss of lives in Nairobi and Kisumu. In some instances, there have been cases of looting and attacks on journalists covering the protests.

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In the affected counties, businesses have remained closed with many Kenyans choosing to stay at home to avoid the fracas.

Last week, Mr Odinga announced that Azimio will stage protests every Monday and Thursday until the government meets their demands.

The Inspector General of police Japheth Koome responded by saying the protests have been banned and that the National Police Service will do everything within its powers to prevent loss or damage of property as result of the protests.

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At the same time, President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua have openly condemned the protests while accusing Mr Odinga of attempting to blackmail the government into a political handshake.

The two have also faulted Mr Odinga for the high cost of living, saying he was part of the government that made the prices of basic commodities to skyrocket.