WATCH: Azimio supporter says #Maandamano will begin at 2pm in viral clip
A Kenyan woman named ‘Mama Rael’ believed that the March 27, 2023, maandamano (demonstrations) would begin at 2 pm.
She said this amid widespread reports that calm ruled the day and little to no opposition demonstrators were yet to take to the streets to join Azimio La Umoja’s Raila Odinga in protesting the high cost of living and against President William Ruto’s presidency.
“My name is Mama Rael, a resident of Congo (in Kawangware). Today, the atmosphere is not bad. The mood is okay, but these law enforcement officers are the people causing problems.
When they come around and begin chasing people while carrying batons and clubs, which is when people on the streets retaliate and there is tension.
But as for the maandamano, I think maandamano is good and if it can cause the cost of high living to be brought down, for our lives to change- then we have no problem with it. The demonstrations must continue even if it will take an entire year.
I think that today’s maandamano will begin at 2 pm because that is the time (when people normally show up for activities).
I will close my shop and join the demonstrators because I am a Kenyan and a registered voter. Why should I refuse to join in?
The police said people should not demonstrate are just saying their own things. That is the stance for the police, not us. We do not agree with them,” said Mama Rael.
March 27, 2023, demonstrations will be the second time that the opposition politicians and their supporters take to the streets this year.
The first demonstrations were held on March 20, 2023, and mass destruction of property and loss of life was reported in the aftermath.
As of 11:20 am, March 27, there were no demonstrators on-site at opposition-allied areas in Nairobi but minimal running battles and burning of tires was reported on Ngong and Juja roads in Nairobi County.
No allied opposition politicians were also on the streets meeting up with supporters.
Anti-riot police, however, have been on standby since early in the morning to disperse protesters after the government banned opposition protests, saying they will arrest anyone who takes to the streets and is spotted carrying stones, machetes and other tools of violence.
However, Raila Odinga said the demonstrations were still on and dared Japheth Koome, the Inspector General of Police, to come and personally arrest him for picketing, a right enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.