by Robert Manyara,
Chris Mgidu and Omar Chrispinus NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
At least one protester was killed and more than
20 others injured during opposition protests which turned
violent in the western Kenyan city of Kisumu on Monday,
witnesses have said.
The protests hitting several
cities and towns in Kenya are the sixth held on Monday in the
The opposition is demanding the country’s electoral body
running next year’s general elections be dissolved.
Witnesses said the man was shot dead as protesters were
marching towards the electoral body’s offices in Kisumu.
There were running battles in the city between the protesters
and anti-riot police.
A senior administrator at a local hospital said the deceased
had a gunshot wound in the chest while five others were
The demonstrators blocked key roads and set fire on tyres
during the weekly protests against the election commission,
which they allege is corrupt and biased in favor of the
Local police commanders have denied receiving death reports.
No further information from the police is immediately known.
Police sources said they were forced to intervene when some
protesters threw stones at two major supermarkets, shattering
Witnesses said the protesters then moved in to loot property
at one supermarket while at another supermarket they were
repulsed by police.
Scuffle erupted when a rowdy group joined peaceful opposition
protesters and tried to gain entry into the electoral body’s
Calm was however reported in many other parts of the country
including Mombasa, where Muslim opposition supporters started
observing the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The city center of the capital Nairobi remained largely
peaceful with heavy police presence.
But in Nairobi’s Kibera and Mathare slums, where some slum
protesters threw stones at vehicles, forcing motorists to look
for alternative routes.
The High Court earlier declined to stop the protests but
asked police to provide security and ensure public safety.
In Nairobi, opposition leaders and their supporters held a
peaceful demonstration in the city center.
The protesters formed a human shield at Anniversary Towers,
the head office of the electoral commission, to prevent anyone
from moving in as directed by the court.
Former Lands Minister and a member of the opposition
coalition, James Orengo, said similar protests will be held in
two weeks if the government declined to hold talks on the
composition of the electoral body but added the opposition
supporters will maintain peace.
The police have used teargas and high-powered water cannon at
protesters in protests in the past weeks.
There has been criticism of police brutality as four
protesters had been killed in previous protests in Siaya and
Kisumu in western Kenya.
The protests had also seen looting and destruction of
property, a situation that forced may businesses to close for
fear of further violence.
Kenyan Opposition continues weekly protests despite tension