Security tightened ahead of Gen-Z memorial concert in Uhuru Park

Police officers

Police officers on Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi on July 7, 2027.

Photo credit: Hillary Kimuyu | Nation Media Group

The government has beefed up security in and around Nairobi's Central Business District (CBD) ahead of the planned memorial concert in Uhuru Park to honour those who died during recent anti-government protests.

The security presence comes despite the wave of protests that swept the country in recent weeks subsiding, with several streets in the capital Nairobi and other towns returning to normal on Sunday.

A spot check by Nation revealed police presence at the Archives, Hilton Square, Kimathi Street and Kenyatta Avenue. At the same time, State House and Parliament Road were completely closed to both pedestrians and motorists.

Police lorries also made rounds around Moi Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue and Kimathi Street, while others parked strategically.

Most businesses in the CBD were closed. The popular skating rink along Aga Khan Walk, which is usually parked on Sundays, saw minimal activity.

"I usually have at least 10 customers by 1pm, but today I only got one," said Mr Mureithi, who rents skates.

Instead of taking to the streets and risking a confrontation with armed thugs, the Gen Zs have chosen another means of expressing their displeasure with the way the government is running things, as well as mourning their comrades who died during the protests.

Hundreds of young people flocked to Uhuru Park on Sunday for a concert in honour of demonstrators who died during protests against the Finance Bill.

The event dubbed the Shujaaz Memorial Concert, began with prayers at various churches in the city before heading to the park.

It was expected to run from 12pm to 7pm and is expected to include Generation Z and Millennials, as well as other people from outside the two generations who have pledged to support the course. Artistes will also be performing at the event.

Rappers Khaligraph Jones, Octopizzo, Juliani, singers Bien, Fena, Nameless, Eric Wanaina, Charisma, Sarabi Band, Graffiti Band and Field Marshall's Band, among others, will perform at the event.

This change in the modus operandi of the Gen Zs, the initiators of the nationwide demonstrations against the controversial and now dropped Finance Bill 2024, seems to have been caused by several factors.

On Thursday, the youth used their social media platforms, particularly X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok, to urge their followers not to take to the streets after a wave of looting and theft disrupted their otherwise peaceful protests.

Participants were encouraged to bring flowers as a gesture of remembrance and peace.