Anyang' Nyong'o skips Azimio protests in Kisumu, sends deputy

kisumu protests

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o (C), his deputy Mathews Owili (second left) and Kiusmu Central MP Joshua Oron lead residents in anti-government demonstrators in Nyamasaria, Kisumu County, on March 27, 2023.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o was a no-show during the Azimio coalition’s anti-government protests on Thursday, despite pledging to lead from the front.

March 30 saw the first of the opposition’s demonstrations on a Thursday, with leader Raila Odinga having declared that these would take place twice every week.

The protests will take place every Monday and Thursday, he said, in his bid to force President William Ruto and his administration to meet some eight demands, including lowering the high cost of living.

Governor Nyong’o, who was on Wednesday forced to backtrack on a decision to suspend the protests in the lakeside county, sent his deputy Mathew Owili to lead the opposition's supporters.

Dr Owili, Kisumu Central MP Joshua Oron, Seme’s James Nyikal and a host of members of the county assembly kicked off their march at the Kondele flyover.

They were accompanied by marshals who ensured that the peaceful march was not infiltrated by goons, following claims that this was the case last week, when properties were either damaged or stolen.

As the protests took place, some residents of Kisumu carried on with business, albeit with caution.

In Nyalenda estate, a number of shops remained open while hundreds of residents stood by the roads.

Unlike during the previous demonstrations, there were no stone barricades leading to the informal settlements.

A police Land Rover, however, blocked the road leading to the Kisumu-Nairobi highway, which remained deserted for the better part of the day.

A number of officers manned the road leading to Kisumu State Lodge in Milimani estate while others guarded both ends of the premise located on the Jomo Kenyatta Highway.