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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Life has to go on, Nyanza residents say amid deadly post-election protests

Erick Owino at Orubo Nursing Home after he was shot in the thigh during post-election protests in Migori town, August 12, 2017. /MANUEL ODENY
Erick Owino at Orubo Nursing Home after he was shot in the thigh during post-election protests in Migori town, August 12, 2017. /MANUEL ODENY

Charles Ochieng, a tailor in Migori town was the only businessman to open shop on Saturday amid demonstrations after presidential results were announced on Friday night.

Ochieng said he opened his shop “Ja Imbo Tailoring Shop” in the busy biashara street within Migori town at 8am as always because he believes life has to go on.

He was at the shop with his four tailors who also reported to work amid teargas fumes as police dispersed demonstrators.

Protests erupted in a majority of Opposition strongholds after Uhuru Kenyatta was announced winner of the presidential election on Friday.

Ten people have been shot dead in Mathare, two in Migori and two in Kisumu between Friday and Saturday.

Last week, two children suffocated and died after tear gas was fired at protesters in Area 10, Mathare, and two men were shot dead.

Acting CS Fred Matiang'i has denied claims that police are firing live bullets at protesters and said he is unaware of any deaths.

More on this: 'Uhuru must go': Deadly protests in Siaya, stone-throwing in Kisumu after Raila defeat

“I believe my presidential candidate Raila Odinga had his results bungled like the rest of demonstrators, but I chose to open up and go on with life,” Ochieng told The Star amid running battles outside his shop.

Residents in Migori town protested for most of Friday night, with some wailing as they poured into the streets.

Through Saturday morning youths blocked roads and at least two were shot, while scored have been injured.

Other major towns in Migori county affected by the stand off are Rongo, Awendo and Sori towns. Protesters attempted to break into one of the banks.

Victor Omondi, 30, and Erick Owino, 29 were admitted at Oruba Nursing Home after being shot separately on the right thighs in Oruba estate within Migori town.

One of the youths who was treated after receiving a gunshot wound during post-election protests in Kisumu, August 12, 2017. /FAITH MATETE

“I was riding on the motorbike when anti-riot police officers shot me on my right thigh. The bullet went through the seat of the bike,” Omondi said.

Owino said he was inside his home when a stray bullet fired by Administration Police officers passed through a mabati fence and grazed his right thigh.

“The bullet graced my thighs and hit a wall. I fainted from shock and only found myself in the hospital,” he said.

At St Joseph Ombo Hospital another youth grazed by a bullet through the back of his neck was treated and discharged, according to nurses at the hospital.

He was released from the hospital on Thursday following earlier sporadic demonstrations.

ARRESTS IN KISUMU

Three people have been arrested during protests in Kisumu, while twenty-five stalls were razed in Kibos.

Nyanza regional coordinator Wilson Njega said some have taken advantage of protests to break into business premises.

"We will deal firmly with anybody intending to break the law and threatening the property and life of people within the region," he said.

Njega said one one person was killed in Maseno area when, some youths were breaking to people house and died in the process.

In Nyalenda, residents complained that police were flagging them outside their houses and beating them up.

But the regional coordinator denied the claims and asked residents to desist from false statements.

He also said there is no shoot-to-kill order and police know according to the law when to use force and what extent of force depending on the circumstances.

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