Governor Anyang' Nyong’o walks back on order, says Azimio demos back on in Kisumu

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Governor Anyang' Nyong’o made a sudden about-turn on his earlier decision to suspend anti-government protests in Kisumu County, just hours after the initial directive. 

Bowing to pressure from various quarters, including Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga, other coalition lawmakers, and residents, ProfNyong’o said he had been encouraged by the resolve of supporters to continue with the demonstrations.

In a follow-up statement, the county boss said peaceful demos will continue as planned on Thursday (tomorrow).

"We, therefore, urge you to turn out in large numbers and join other Kenyans in the liberation struggle," he said.

His change of tune came moments after Mr Odinga maintained that the countrywide demonstrations would go on as planned.

In his earlier statement, the governor had said protesters would join demonstrators in Nairobi. The move came after the last two anti-government protests left a trail of destruction of property and two deaths in Kisumu. According to Prof Nyong’o, the decision was reached after consultations with Azimio's national leadership.

Mr Odinga's supporters in Kisumu had rejected the suspension. Some residents of Obunga notified the police of their planned demonstrations tomorrow.

Kisumu protests

Obunga community mobiliser John Okello addressing the press after leading residents to Obunga Police Post, Kisumu, to notify the officers of anti-government demonstrations tomorrow.

Photo credit: Rushdie Oudia | Nation Media Group

Obunga community mobiliser John Okello led residents to the Obunga Police Post to notify the officers of the planned demonstrations.

“We the supporters of Azimio coalition, therefore, request for maximum police protection on March 30, 2023, as we shall be proceeding on our very peaceful demonstration as instructed by our party leader Raila Odinga,” said Mr Okello.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja had also criticised Prof Nyong’o for “exporting his demonstrations to Nairobi”.

On Monday, many protesters in Kisumu defied an appeal by the governor to hold public demonstrations out of the city centre.

Governor Nyong’o, together with his deputy Dr Mathew Owili, Kisumu Central MP Joshua Oron and several ward representatives marched in protest, but on a route away from the city centre.