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Police gives lone protestor soft drink to quench his thirst

A lone protester surprised anti-riot police officers in Homa Bay town on Wednesday when he gathered courage and asked the officers for something to eat after being overwhelmed by hunger pangs.

In normal circumstances, demonstrators would run away from police. But in this situation, the man, who could not be identified by name, decided to go to the officers and seek help.

It was after 2pm and man could not withstand the difficult environment he was in. The hot sun at the lake shore was at its peak. The air in Homa Bay town was also filled with a pungent smell from teargas. All these hardships made the man unable to continue demonstrating with an empty stomach.

The police obliged and gave him a soft drink that was half full.

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The protester was earlier on with fellow demonstrators in Shauri Yako, an informal settlement in Homa Bay town. Police officers were in the opposite direction facing the crowd. As the officers were hurling teargas to the crowd, the youths repulsed the officers by throwing stones.

The battle went on for a while until noon when some protesters decided to retreat. Some police officers were also tired and decided to rest under shade in a stall at Homa Bay town market.

As the two groups were staring at each other, the man decided to gather courage and approach the police to tell them his grievances. He used Swahili and Dholuo to communicate to the officers.

“I am protesting because of the high cost of living. Right now I have not taken anything and I feel hungry,” he lamented, as he touched his stomach to further express himself.

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He wanted his message to reach President William Ruto even though he was channeling his grievances to the wrong people. The man said his children will sleep on an empty stomach because he is not at work due to protest.

“My child is admitted to the hospital. The other will not eat today,” he said.

At this point, some of the officers decided to call him. At first it was not clear what they were going to do to him. From the background, a group of youths could be heard telling the man not to go near the police officers.

But as a sign of proving his lamentations, he went straight to an officer who offered him a soft drink. The yellow drink was in a transparent bottle and was half full after the officer had drunk half of it.

The protestor decided to take it without judging. He walked back to Shauri Yako as he was drinking.

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