Allies of President William Ruto have called on the Inspector-General of Police to arrest opposition leader Raila Odinga over the chaos and destruction of properties witnessed on Monday even as the Azimio party maintained their demonstration was peaceful until police broke up protesters.
Politicians in the rival Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya yesterday traded accusations over who should take responsibility for the chaos with each side claiming innocence.
The Kenya Kwanza team led by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa and his Senate counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot told Mr Japhet Koome to arrest Mr Odinga.
“We want to tell the Inspector-General not to just arrest small boys but the buck stops with Mr Odinga, he should go for him and if he has sponsors, he should go for them as well, otherwise people will protect themselves and their properties,” Mr Ichungwa said. Mr Cheruiyot said Mr Odinga will not succeed in his quest to divide the country.
“I want to tell the people of Nyanza that the President means well and all areas will get their development share. There is no need to go to the streets as advocated by Mr Odinga,” Mr Cheruiyot said.
Kenya Kwanza urged the Registrar of Political Parties to deduct the funds due to Mr Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and give the money to Dr Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) to cater for the losses the latter party incurred after its offices were vandalised in Kisumu during the protests.
But Azimio politicians hit back at their Kenya Kwanza counterparts, calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take a keen interest in the events unfolding in the country. This, they said, is with a view to having individuals implicated in human rights abuses held accountable.
The MPs also demanded that police officers who used live bullets on protesters on Monday face disciplinary action.
Led by Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo, the coalition lashed out at the government for arresting demonstrators.
“The demonstration was largely successful. Our demands must be met or else we will be back on the streets next week,” Mr Madzayo said. His National Assembly counterpart Opiyo Wandayi called on the government to release all youth arrested unconditionally.
Senate Deputy Majority Leader Enock Wambua lamented that the police turned a peaceful protest into a battle through the use of excessive force.
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna demanded the arrest of police officers he claimed used live bullets on protesters on Wabera Street in Nairobi.
Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi also accused the police of brutality alleging that some officers followed him to Parliament Buildings and pointed a gun at him.
Likoni MP Mishi Mboko said: “You will intimidate, threaten and even arrest us but we will continue standing firm.”