Man dies as police disperse NASA supporters in anti-IEBC demos


Man dies as police disperse NASA supporters in anti-IEBC demos
Anti-riot police try to quell protests in Kisumu during a past demostration

One person died on Monday in Siaya town as police battled National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters who heeded calls by their leaders to stage protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The 41-year old man collapsed and died after police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the protesters who had barricaded roads with stones and bonfires.

According to eyewitnesses, the man fell to the ground while running away during the ensuing fracas and was later confirmed dead.

Last week, NASA leader Raila Odinga announced that the Opposition coalition would be embarking on weekly protests, every Monday and Friday, to force the electoral commission to implement specific changes before the repeat presidential election set for October 26.

Opposition leaders had stated the demos would be peaceful, however, anti-riot police were forced to use teargas on rowdy youth who were hurling stones at police along Kisumu’s Kondele Street where business was brought to a standstill.

Led by Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda, the protesters were gathering to march to the local IEBC offices.

Police in Kisumu were at some point forced to retreat to the Kondele Police Station after they ran out of teargas.  Last week, a section of protesters in Kisumu expressed anger after police failed to tear-gas them during an anti-IEBC protest on Tuesday.

NASA supporters in Kisumu stage anti-IEBC demos on Monday, October 2, 2017.

In the meantime, in Nairobi, heavy security was deployed at the IEBC headquarters at the Anniversary Towers and its environs as the NASA leaders and their supporters made good their threat to demonstrate.

Similar protests also kicked off in Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kakamega, Kajiado, Garissa and in the coastal city of Mombasa.

In Embu, the planned anti-IEBC demonstration turned chaotic after Jubilee supporters moved to counter a protest staged by a pro-NASA group.

Trouble started when Kirimari Ward MCA Morris Nyaga and his counterpart for Ruguru Ngandori Ward, Sammy Muturi, intercepted the demonstrators and urged them to stop the protests.

The unrelenting demonstrators, however, vowed to soldier on even as boda boda riders joined in disrupting the protests in the perceived Jubilee stronghold.

The Raila Odinga-led team is demanding among other issues the firing and prosecution of about 10 IEBC officials among them the chief executive officer, Ezra Chiloba. NASA maintains there will be no October election as long as the current commission remains as currently constituted.

Also on their raft of demands, which they have termed as ‘irreducible minimums’, is the blacklisting of technology firm OT-Morpho and printer Al Ghurair from the upcoming election.

NASA is also protesting the Jubilee Party’s move to introduce several controversial amendments to the country’s Election Laws.

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