The third round of Kenyan anti-government protests begins despite a court crackdown

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga led thousands of protesters in a third round of anti-government demonstrations on Thursday, as the government warned no further violent protests would be tolerated.

The opposition blames President William Ruto for the rising cost of living and claims he illegally rigged his vote in last year’s election, despite the Supreme Court upholding the validity of the election results.

Odinga says protests will not stop until the government cuts the cost of basic groceries and allows access to the 2022 election results from the Electoral Commission’s main computers.

ANTI-GOVERNMENT protests erupt in Kenya despite government declarations protests are illegal

Ruto, who returned to the country on Thursday from a four-day trip to Belgium and Germany, firmly believes the ongoing protests are illegal.

Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki, who is in charge of police, said on Wednesday that no further violent protests would be tolerated, declaring: “We must stop the descent.”

US Senator Chris Coons met with Kenya’s Vice President Rigathi Gachagua on Wednesday in what the Kenyan leader described as “strengthening ties”.

According to the Kenyan politician, Coons also met with opposition leader Odinga to discuss “upholding the constitution and the rule of law”.

A third round of opposition protests against Kenyan President William Ruto took place on Thursday, despite the government’s intention to crack down on dissent. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)

Police have used force to disperse protesters and so far four people are believed to have died since protests began last week.

Odinga said the protests would take place twice a week until the opposition’s demands were met. A governor of Odinga’s Kisumu County stronghold had banned protests in the area but quickly lifted them, and local government officials joined the demonstrations on Thursday.

The protests have sparked backlash against opposition targets. Last Monday, private property was vandalized at former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family farm outside the capital, Odinga’s gas cylinder factory near the central business district and shops in Odinga’s stronghold, the Kibera slums, were burned.

The independent police watchdog is investigating four incidents in which police shot and killed protesters, as well as allegations that police failed to respond to a report of damage to private property. The agency has urged police to abide by the law while protecting life and property.


Civil society groups, including Amnesty Kenya and the Kenya Human Rights Commission, have expressed concern about human rights abuses by the police during the protests and called on the police to continue their service to humanity.

The African Union has called for calm and dialogue among stakeholders, recalling a “successful conduct of the parliamentary elections and the confirmation of the result by the Supreme Court”.

Western diplomatic missions in Kenya have expressed concern about the violence and damage to places of worship and private property.


The Media Council of Kenya said journalists had been attacked during the demonstrations and said it would work closely with police to ensure perpetrators turned themselves into justice.

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