KENYA: 3 Odinga supporters shot dead in anti-IEBC demos in Nyanza

KENYA: 3 Odinga supporters shot dead in anti-IEBC demos in Nyanza

Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, from the National Super Alliance (NASA), coalition protest outside the Supreme Court in Nairobi, Kenya August 18, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Three people were shot dead and two others sustained injuries after anti-IEBC demos turned chaotic in Siaya and Migori on Friday.

The three were killed after they allegedly attempted to storm a police station in Bondo, the home town of National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga.

BULLETS

Witnesses said a crowd had gathered in front of the police station, who quickly scattered when police fired bullets.

Several ran towards the building, which is when two of them were shot dead.

“One of them has a large injury on the head and another on the chest. They are all lying there in a pool of blood,” said Charleston Okelo, a witness.

Chaos reigned as police tried to disperse the angry crowd.

‘LOOTING’

“Why are they shooting at innocent peaceful protesters? Why did they provoke people by shooting? Now they have killed two people,” said protester Wilfred Ojwang.

Area police chief John Kiarie said he could not comment on the incident until he received “a comprehensive report of what really happened.”

Nyanza Regional Coordinator Wilson Njega said the dead were among protesters who attacked police who were guarding shops in Bondo town.

He said the three were shot because “they wanted to loot”.

The IEBC offices in Bondo are near the main police station and several government offices.

The way to the IEBC offices passes through the station.

Some witnesses said chaos erupted when some in the crowd pelted stones at the police.

The officers responded.

In Homa Bay and Kisumu, police also shot at protesters who had converged to march to the centres of the two towns.

HOSPITAL

In Migori town, 75-year-old Jeniffer Njenda was shot on the right shoulder as she left hospital for home.

She was rushed to Ombo Hospital where she was still undergoing treatment.

Ms Maureen Akoth, granddaughter of the  woman, said her granny was staying with them because she was ailing.

“The bullet caught her as she left hospital in the company of my mother,” she said.

Doctors at the hospital said she was out of danger.

POLICE

A boda boda operator, only identified as Bonny, was shot on the thigh as he rode his motorcycle near National Bank.

He was also taken to another hospital where he was also still undergoing treatment.

But Migori police denied knowledge of the shootings.

Contacted by the Nation, County Commandant Joseph Nthenge said, “I am still finding out if my officers shot the victims”.

Migori County Director of Criminal Investigations Benedict Kigen later confirmed that police had fired on protesters but argued they were only using rubber bullets.

He said police opened fire after protesters smashed their pick-up.

The Nation could not immediately establish of the bullets used were indeed made of rubber.

Migori town remained shut for the better part of the day after contingents of anti-riot police swarmed the streets in the morning.

Shops, hardware stores and hotels remained closed as protesters played hide and seek games with the officers.

ANGER

Police were deployed in all the entry and exit points of the border town.

Roads remained deserted with only youths chanting anti-IEBC slogans.

The Nasa supporters in the area said police will not stop them from exercising their democratic rights.

“(Dr Fred) Matiangi (the acting Interior Cabinet secretary) will know that he is a nobody as far as Nasa demos are concerned,” said Mr John Ouko, a Nasa supporter.

In Kisumu, scores of demonstrators were injured as they attempted to enter the city centre.

Six were rushed to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral hospital, some with bullet wounds and others clobbered with clubs.

GUNSHOTS

The police blocked all the main routes leading to the city centre and used teargas to disperse the youths.

Gunshots rented the air around the CBD and Kondele area, where journalists were also teargassed by the anti-riot GSU officers.

Ambulances from the Kenya Red Cross and the Kisumu County government rushed casualties to the Jaramogi hospital.

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, who had earlier vowed to lead the protestors in the CBD, did not make it to the town centre.

“It is wrong for the police to use live bullets on innocent protestors exercising their right to picket,” Mr Outa said.

Businesses remained shut as police engaged the youths.

Daily Nation

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