Police fire teargas as NASA supporters, Nairobi business community clash
NASA supporters clashed with members of the Nairobi business community who are allied to Jubilee Party IEBC demonstrations on Friday.
Police fired teargas at the NASA protesters calling for the removal of IEBC officials they blame for August’s cancelled presidential vote.
The protesters were seen engaging officers in running battles in the central business district, where some shops remained closed.
The groups clashed while police drove them away but they engaged in confrontations during which the Jubilee supporters shouted “tokeni hapa” (get out of here).
An exchange took place before the groups separated.
Police will likely man the CBD for the rest of the day and this should be the case in other parts of the country where NASA supporters are protesting.
The first round of demonstrations took place on Monday after NASA chief Raila Odinga declared mass action will be the way util their demands for the October 26 vote are met.
The Opposition is threatening a boycott if election board officials are not removed.
NASA supporters run as riot policemen fire tear gas to disperse them during a Nairobi protest for the sacking of IEBC officials, October 6, 2017. /REUTERS
In Kisumu, most businesses remained closed as protesters lit fires while carrying a mock coffin of IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba.
Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda who is leading the protests told the police not to interfere with what he called a ‘peaceful protest”.
He said they don’t want teargas thrown at them until they present their memorandum to the IEBC offices.
On Thursday, government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said they will not permit NASA protests slated for Friday due to interference with businesses.
Kiraithe said business people have complained that the political atmosphere in the build-up to the October 26 repeat presidential election is hurting their operations.