What you need to know:
- The demonstrators outnumbered police officers who had been deployed to protect the premises.
- They carted away valuables from the building including iron sheets used to fence the compound.
A rowdy crowd of anti-government protesters has torched offices belonging to President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party in Karemo area, Siaya County.
This is the second UDA office to be set ablaze during protests after angry demonstrators broke into, vandalised and eventually torched offices belonging to the party in Kisumu last Monday.
In today's incident, the demonstrators outnumbered police officers who had been deployed to protect the premises. The police had earlier cordoned off the area to keep rioters away but they later managed to gain entry.
They then carted away valuables from the building including iron sheets used to fence the compound.
“For almost three hours, the police kept the youths away from the property. The rioters took advantage when the officers left to remove roadblocks and set the building on fire,” said a local who lives near the office.
UDA had acquired the office premises after Dr Ruto won the August 9 presidential poll last year.
“The crowd overwhelmed the police who were at the premises. They engaged us in cat and mouse games. We have launched investigations into the incident and will bring the perpetrators to book,” said Siaya Sub-County police Commander Benedict Mwangangi.
He also cautioned demonstrators against destroying property.
“The police restrained themselves from using force against members of the public because we don’t want to create chaos. Let all Kenyans know that picketing and demonstrations that are allowed in the Constitution does not mean destroying other people’s property.”
Nation.Africa's attempts to reach the owner of the building were unsuccessful as phone calls never went through.
Thursday's demonstrations in Siaya paralysed businesses, especially those in the transport sector after roads were barricaded.