Kenya: Nairobi Deserted, Shops Closed as Police Patrol Streets

Nairobi — Kenya’s capital Nairobi was largely deserted Wednesday as Opposition warned of mass protests against the high cost of living.

Shops remained closed and there was heavy security patrols across the city as well as other towns of Kisumu, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kisii among others even after the government outlawed the protests called by Opposition leader Raila Odinga, the third to occur this month.

Nine people died in violent clashes on Wednesday last week in parts of the country as demonstrators called to protest by Odinga marched in defiance of a government ban. Six others had been killed in similar protests the previous week.

Odinga has called for more protests from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday against the high cost of living occasioned by the Finance Act signed by President William Ruto.

Odinga, who insists last year’s presidential election won by Ruto was “stolen”, initiated a string of rallies this year against a government he says is illegitimate and responsible for a cost-of-living crisis.

But President Ruto has told him off, vowing not to succumb to political pressure to share his government with a “loser”.

“I want to tell Raila Odinga that elections ended on August 8 last year. You can’t seek the leadership of our country through bloodshed, deaths, and destruction of property. There is no way you will change Kenya through the route you have taken,” Ruto said.

Schools in the country’s three main cities of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu were ordered closed Wednesday following the planned protests.

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