PHOTOS: CORD, police change game plan in fifth anti-IEBC protest


PHOTOS: CORD, police change game plan in fifth anti-IEBC protest

Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) changed tact in their fifth protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

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CORD first congregated at Uhuru Park with CORD leader Raila Odinga leading a peaceful procession through Kenyatta Avenue and Moi Avenue to University Way.

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Unlike in the past when CORD stopped outside Anniversary Towers which houses IEBC offices to allow the leaders to address their supporters, Monday’s procession continue through University Way without making a stop, using Uhuru Highway and back to Uhuru Park.

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Outside the University of Nairobi, which has been a battlefield between CORD supporters and the police in past protests, CORD’s peace marshals created a human shield to prevent other supporters from hurling stones at the police or attempting to storm the offices.

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It is at this point that CORD leaders Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula and Ford Kenya Secretary General Nick Salat addressed the supporters.

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Upon demands by the supporters, Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale was also given a chance to give his address, choosing to begin with a song.

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In their addresses, CORD leaders applauded their supporters for maintaining peace during the protests saying they had “shamed the devil”.

“Jubilee is used to propagating claims that CORD supporters are violent and looters. Today we have proved them wrong by maintaining peace,” said Wetangula in his address.

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Police also changed tact in handling CORD protests staying off their way, which is different from the past protests where they stopped them from accessing Anniversary Towers in CORD’s four attempts.

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There was no police presence at the roads that CORD used in their protests with only a police chopper manning the skies. The only officers present were seen inside Central Police station, along University Way, and inside Anniversary Towers with no water cannons on sight as has been the norm.

The protests which began and ended peacefully could have been as a result of a court ruling issued on Monday allowing CORD to hold their protests peacefully.

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The ruling also required police to provide security to CORD leaders and supporters and ensure that no personal property is destroyed during the protest.

CORD has given the government until next week to sort out the IEBC issue, failure to which they would increase the frequency of the protests to two per week.

@benjaminwafula

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