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Raila orders his troops to retreat after ‘successful’ day one protests

Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga has urged his supporters to end anti-government protests at 5pm on Wednesday.

Mr Odinga said the demonstrations against tax increases and the rising cost of living would resume on Thursday morning.

Speaking exclusively to the Nation, Mr Odinga said the first day of protests had been a success.

A protester kicks away a teargas cannister during anti-government protests in Kibera, Nairobi on July 19, 2023. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

He said the agitation to force the Kenya Kwanza government led by President William Ruto to reduce the high cost of living would not be thwarted by the State.

Mr Odinga, however, did not reveal his whereabouts.

Anti-government protesters barricade the road at Egesa on the Kisii-Kisumu road in Kisii County on July 19, 2023. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA

“We will continue with our peaceful demonstrations as planned. But we will stop at 5pm today and resume tomorrow (Thursday) morning. We will continue to agitate for our rights as Kenyans, we won’t give up,” he said on the phone, thanking Kenyans for taking to the streets to fight for their rights.

At the same time, the veteran politician expressed shock at the arrest of protesters and opposition politicians including Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi Senator), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South MP) and Teddy Mwambire (Kilifi County Assembly Speaker).

Police officers arrest a demonstrator in Mathare slums, Nairobi County on July 19, 2023 during the anti-government demonstrations. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO

He said his bodyguard Maurice Ogeta has been freed but Embakasi East MP Babu Owino’s whereabouts remain unknown.

On Monday, opposition leaders announced three days of demonstrations from Wednesday to Friday after the state announced the closure of all-day primary and secondary schools in the cities of Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu due to insecurity.;

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