Azimio's maandamano: Here is what we know so far


By 11am, protesters had block roads and lit fires in Siaya town.

Photo credit: Kassim Adinasi | Nation Media Group

The three-day anti-government protests called by Azimio leader Raila Odinga kicked off on Wednesday in various cities and towns with police officers engaging protesters in running battles.

At 4pm, Mr Odinga urged his supporters to end anti-government protests at 5pm on Wednesday.

In a phone interview with the Nation, Mr Odinga said the demonstrations against tax increases and the rising cost of living would resume on Thursday morning.

By 2pm, Mr Odinga had not spoken or appeared anywhere publicly. His colleagues in Azimio were also nowhere to be seen.

In Homa Bay County, police officers arrested protesters in Homa Bay town this morning, while other protesters barricaded the Homa Bay-Rongo road.

By early morning, counties that witnessed heavy protests last week such as Kisii, Nakuru, Meru, Kitengela, Kisii and Kisumu were still somewhat asleep with businesses closed.

In Kisumu, Kisumu Central MP Joshua Oron joined county assembly members, other area leaders and protesters in a peaceful walk from Kibos, Manyatta to Nyamasaria.

The city, however, was relatively calm in the early hours of the morning, with Kibuye and Kondele areas and Oginga Odinga Street witnessing closed shops, clear roads and minimal movement of people.

Siaya town, which started quietly, saw its streets barricaded by protesters who lit bonfires as they gathered to start the protests.

Shops in Kisii town also remained closed in the early hours of the morning. By mid-morning, angry residents blocked a road in the Mwembe area along the Kisii-Kilgoris road, attracting a heavy police presence. Other areas, however, remained calm and residents even took to playing football along Hospital Road.

Heavy police presence

In Meru, it was business as usual by 8am, with public transport running normally. The same could be seen in Kitengela town, where there was also a heavy police presence.

Nairobi's central business district remained relatively calm, with most shops closed due to the protests. By 11am, the Kamukunji area, which had seen little activity or movement of people, had been taken over by anti-riot police.

Azimio leaders are expected to meet there before the start of three days of anti-government protests.

Roads to the State House have also been blocked, with security officers allowing only authorised people to enter. Protests began in Woodley, Kibera, as youths engaged police officers in running battles.

By mid-morning, police reinforcements had arrived in the area to support police officers who had been forced to retreat by stone-throwing protesters.

Security at Jacaranda remained tight at mid-morning, with police officers manning the area appearing relaxed.

Nakuru - heavy police presence, road blocked by protesters who set fire to Stima Line area.

Shabaab area

However, the morning was characterised by closed shops, minimal human traffic and a general sense of calm. Most shops in Nakuru's industrial area and Shabaab area remained closed in the early morning.

In Lamu, it is business as usual.  The area is quiet, with no police presence. However, police officers have set up roadblocks on the roads leading to Mombasa. Officers are also checking matatu passengers at the city's entry and exit points to prevent politicians from using matatus to enter the central business district.

Meanwhile, police officers arrested protesters in the Ganjoni area after they barricaded the roads and lit bonfires. GSU officers have also been deployed in Bangladesh area to calm the situation. In Kilifi, business and transport went on as usual, with few people boarding public service vehicles. Residents who came out did not know what to expect as there was little activity.

Voi town was also calm, with normal traffic on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. In Kakamega town, it was business as usual. There was no police presence as in the past days of protests. By mid-morning, UDA secretary-general Cleophas Malala joined residents to urge them to assist the police in ensuring that there are no demonstrations in the area.

In Narok town, residents went about their business as usual. In Kibwezi, Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse took to the streets to urge residents not to take part in the ongoing Azimio protests.

In Karatina town, Nyeri County, public service vehicles remained grounded due to low business.

Reporting by Mercy Chelangat, Justus Ochieng, Steve Otieno, Joseph Openda, Rushdie Oudia, Elias Makori, Kevin Odit, Ruth Mbula, Stephen Munyiri, Dan Ogetta, Winnie Atieno, Kassim Adinasi, George Odiwuor, Waikwa Maina, Pius Maundu, Ndubi Moturi, Wachira Mwangi, Stanley Ngotho, Kitimo Katini, Boniface Mwangi, Robert Kiplangat, Joseph Openda, Benson Matheka, Lucy Mkanyika, Sammy Lutta, Isaac Wale, Maureen Ongala, Vitalis Kimutai, Kalume Kazungu, Mary Wambui and David Muchui