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Raila car windscreen hit as police disperse anti-IEBC demo


The protests called by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) in Nairobi turned violent on Monday, leading to the damage of Mr Raila Odinga’s vehicle.

Cord leaders claimed that police used live ammunition to disperse the crowd but Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome, said no live bullets were used during the demo.

Central OCPD Paul Wanjama said it was difficult to immediately establish which firearm discharged bullets during the protests.

“You understand that both the police and Cord had guns and anyone may have used the bullets,” said Mr Wanjama. He, however, said the police would investigate the claims by Cord leaders.

Mr Wanjama could not comment on the injuries purportedly sustained by activist Japheth Moroko.

BLEEDING PROFUSELY

According to Cord leaders, Mr Moroko was grazed in the head and in the leg by bullets. The activist, who was bleeding profusely, was admitted at the Nairobi Hospital, where he was scheduled for an operation.

It was not clear, however, whether he was hurt by a bullet or another object as the Nairobi Hospital declined to give details.

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula accused the police of using live bullets to attack the demonstrators and to hit Mr Odinga’s car whose windscreen was damaged during the protests that were dispersed by police using teargas and water canons.

ODM Communications Director Philip Etale circulated photos of Mr Odinga’s vehicle on social media with the caption, “Below is my boss Raila Odinga’s vehicle which was hit at today as they went to the IEBC offices”.

The message, however, did not indicate that the car’s windscreen was damaged by a bullet.

He later told the Daily Nation that the car had been hit by a bullet, endangering the life of the Cord leader.

Mr Raila had arrived at the protests alongside Mr Wetang’ula, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper Democratic Party and Mr Nick Salat of Kanu and elected leaders Elizabeth Ongoro, Tom Kajwang, Simba Arati and James Orengo.

MUGGING AND THEFT

Monday’s demonstration was the third in as many weeks but was the most violent, with wananchi accusing the protesters of mugging, theft and destruction of property.

Cord has said the demonstrations will be held every Monday to push for the disbandment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Opposition leaders had just started addressing a crowd that had assembled outside the Anniversary Towers — the IEBC headquarters — when police lobbed teargas canisters at them.

The politicians rushed into their cars, which were parked at Lilian Towers, and left the scene of the protests.

Police dispersed the crowd just as Senator James Orengo had started addressing them, with calls for the government to investigate the death of businessman Jacob Juma who was buried on Saturday after he was shot dead in Nairobi a week earlier.

EXCESSIVE FORCE

Photos and videos were later shared on social media, amid allegations that police had used excessive force.

Cord’s communication officer Dennis Onyango said several cars had been hit by bullets during the protests. He became agitated when asked where the cars were.

“The cars are parked at Mr Raila’s offices at Capitol Hill,” he said.

Police, however, denied using any live bullets to disperse the crowds during the protests. They also said that some of the spent cartridges collected were not discharged from police firearms.