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Police block roads leading to State House, Nairobi

Police on March 27, 2023, barred journalists from accessing all roads leading to State House, Nairobi.

The move occurred on the day the opposition called for mass protests around the country.

One uniformed officer who spoke off the record said he barring journalists so as to implement an ‘order from above’.

About 30 uniformed policemen were guarding the Denis Pritt road with two trucks blocking access to State House.

“We will not allow you to take videos and pictures of this place. If you need clearance, please call (regional police commander Adamson) Bungei,” the policeman explained in a harsh tone as he pushed us back.

The development is in contrast to the events on March 20, 2023, the first day of protests, when journalists were allowed to get to close proximity to State House as they went about their daily duty.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has in the past claimed he will lead demonstrators to hand over a petition to State House, Nairobi, during the demonstrations.

And in a related development, several shops and businesses remained closed in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) on the morning of the protests.

There was also low human and vehicle traffic leading into town from Mombasa road and Thika road as traders elected to stay away from the capital for fear of the unknown.

And with no mood to take chances, hundreds of heavily armed police officers patrolled the streets in trucks, horseback and on foot in a bid to enforce law and order.

Mr Odinga has emphasized that the protests, which he described as peaceful, are aimed at putting pressure on President William Ruto’s government to lower the cost of living.

Mr Odinga and his lieutenants, who include Martha Karua, his running mate in the August 2022 polls, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ex-Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, have also demanded a dialogue on electoral reforms.

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