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February 22, 2018

NASA demos: Cops teargas Nairobians, anger Kisumu with water cannon

NASA supporters run after policemen fired tear gas to disperse them during a protest along a street in Nairobi, October 13, 2017. /REUTERS
NASA supporters run after policemen fired tear gas to disperse them during a protest along a street in Nairobi, October 13, 2017. /REUTERS

Police used teargas on Friday to disperse protesters in the three main cities, as the standoff between the government and Opposition leaders over the election continued.

NASA protesters in Nairobi were teargased.

Those in Kisumu reacted angrily when police turned water cannon on them to prevent them from entering the city centre.

"Our demonstrations have a (valid) basis and are peaceful," Hezron Aloyo said on Friday. "We condemn the directive ... on the limitation of our rights to demonstrate." 

Opposition supporters in Homa Bay have also carried on with protests, hampering transport. Shops and other outlets in the town have remained closed.

The youths have barricaded major roads leading to and out of the town.The main road leading to the police station has also been blocked.

Riot policemen fire tear gas to disperse supporters of the National Super Alliance coalition during a protest along a street in Nairobi, October 13, 2017. /REUTERS

Oyugi Magwanga has advised the people to hold peaceful demonstrations against the IEBC and avoid confrontations with police.

Magwanga noted it is a crucial time for the Opposition and that nobody should die, sustain injuries or lose property.

NASA chief led by presidential candidate Raila Odinga have instructed their supporters to hold countrywide demonstrations to force top IEBC officials out of office and prevent electoral reforms.

"I urge our people to maintain peace while demonstrating and avoid confrontation with the police who are there to protect us," said Magwanga.

On Wednesday, the politician who lost to Governor Cyprian Awiti on August 8 , led a peaceful demonstration in Homa Bay Town.

It turned chaotic after he left and saw youths engage police in running battles.

At least two police officers were seriously injured and a rifle damaged. Another weapon was snatched from one of the officers but it was recovered later.

A spare part shop was burnt down and crowds blamed police.

More on this: NASA demos: Kisumu man shot in buttock, Homa Bay crowd clobbers cops

NASA supporters demonstrate against the IEBC and election law amendments in Homa Bay Town, October 4, 2017. /HABIL ONYANGO

In Mombasa, politicians criticised acting Interior CS Fred Matiang'i for banning the mass action in the CBDs of major towns.

MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Senator Mohamed Faki and several MCAs were among politicians who took part.

Before the march began, Nassir reiterated police have no authority to disperse legal protests.

Read: Police teargas defiant Mombasa protesters, leaders upset

Also read: NASA chiefs to hold mega Mombasa rally, Matiang'i persona non grata - Nassir

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