Kisumu residents Monday did peaceful anti-government demonstrations to protest against the high cost of living as called by the Azimio coalition.
Individuals formed small groups at various joints in Kisumu town and along the major streets carrying placards and singing to show support for Azimio’s leader Raila Odinga who has called on his supporters to demonstrate every Monday and Thursday.
As late as mid-day, majority of business enterprises in Kisumu’s Central Business District (CBD) remained closed amid anticipation of the eruption of violence and looting as witnessed during last week’s protests.
There was a high number of anti-riot police patrolling in cahoots to help in maintaining peace and calm in the lakeside city.
The largely peaceful demonstrations were after the County elected leaders prevailed upon the locals to maintain peace and protect property during the protests.
They warned that engaging in violence and criminal behavior would taint the image of Raila and undermines the objectives of the nationwide demonstrations.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o asked the supporters of the Azimio coalition to exercise restraint by protecting business enterprises in the area.
He further cautioned that hooligans disguising themselves as demonstrators to steal from the public would be exposed and handed over to the police.
Prof. Nyongo also asked the police to protect people’s lives and property during the peaceful demonstrations.
Kisumu Central MP Joshua Oron reiterated the legitimacy of locals engaging in peaceful protests. He, however, pleaded with them to respect other protesters and refrain from damaging both public and private property in the town.
“Let us take part in peaceful demonstrations without pelting stones, looting shops, and robbing others. These businesses we destroy belong to our brothers and sisters, and the roads that we damage belong to us all, let us refrain from these criminalities,” pleaded Dr. Oron.
By Robert Ojwang’