• The mass protests were supported and criticised by Kenyans in equal measure depending on one's political affiliation.
• Despite the chaos witnessed in Nairobi and Kisumu, most parts of the country remained relatively calm with little or no incident.
A section of Kenyans took to social media on Monday to express their opinion over the mass action called by Azimio leader Raila Odinga.
The mass protests were supported and criticised by Kenyans in equal measure depending on one's political affiliation.
But as some made their decision known on the streets smack in the middle of teargas, police arrests and muggings others chose the safest place to air their views; social media.
"Raila is a movement, telling people to show up for demonstrations and they do is not easy,” Kelitu Kaseo observed.
"Huonangi unaweza ita watu birthday na wakose kukuja (You know that scenario where invitees don't show up for a birthday party," she said
Raila is a movement, telling people to show up for demonstrations and they do is not easy huonangi unaweza ita watu birthday na wakose kukuja 💀— Kelitu Kaseo (@DjEynie) March 20, 2023
In calling for mass action, Raila had unlawfully declared that Monday would be a public holiday to allow his supporters fully participate in the demos.
Most businesses in Nairobi and other participating towns like Kisumu remained closed seemingly not because owners heed Raila's holiday declaration, but fear of vandalism and looting.
“The only person in Kenya who can make a busy Monday holiday without a gazette notice is Baba Raila Odinga,” Alinur Mohamed said.
The only person in Kenya who can make a busy Monday holiday without a gazette notice is BABA RAILA ODINGA.— Alinur Mohamed (@AlinurMohamed_) March 20, 2023
Despite the chaos witnessed in Nairobi and Kisumu, most parts of the country remained relatively calm with little or no incident.
This is because the capital and Nyanza are perceived strongholds of Raila where he has traditionally had an edge over his competitors in presidential polls all of which he has claimed he was rigged out.
The CAS nominee in the Ministry of ICT Dennis Itumbi made note of this and took a swipe at the Media which he insinuated exaggerated things on the ground.
"46/48 of Counties remained calm and peaceful today. Nairobi had protested in only 3/ 38 areas. Kisumu City had protests in 1/9 areas. Dear Media, is this what you call Nationwide protests? he posed.
46/48 of Counties remained calm and peaceful today. Nairobi had protests in only 3/ 38 areas. Kisumu City had protests 1/9 areas. Dear Media, is this what you call Nationwide protests? Hata kama ni NEWS on Wajackoya!— Dennis Itumbi, HSC (@OleItumbi) March 20, 2023
A section of Azimio leaders was arrested in the ensuing melee but was later released.
They include Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo, Kilifi MP Richard Chonga and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.
Comedian Doctor King'ori posted a photo of the legislators' arrest and asked, "Kumbe mtu anaweza shikwa juu ya kukuwa na Msimamo?
(So you can be arrested for taking a stand?)
Kumbe mtu anaweza shikwa juu ya kukuwa na Msimamo 🤔#Maandamano pic.twitter.com/vgcM2Snun9— Dr. King'ori (Shaman) (@Dr_Kingori) March 20, 2023
"Such shameful conduct should not be tolerated, but we refuse to be intimidated. Ruto and his team should be ashamed of themselves," he added.
Raila declared that the anti-Ruto riots will continue weekly with mass action every Monday.
"I take this opportunity to thank the thousands of patriotic and brave Kenyans who have turned up for today's date with destiny," she said.
Raila joined the protests a little late at around 2 pm but was blocked from accessing the Central Business District as he left Serena Hotel.
He took a detour to Eastlands via Haile Selasie Avenue, Kamukunji, Majengo, Eastleigh and Mathere North where he rallied his supporters to remain firm and fight for their rights.
The Azimo leader has termed the Kenya Kwanza administration as illegitimate and accused President William Ruto of myriad excesses including attempting to singlehandedly reconstitute the IEBC.
During his escapades in Nairobi and its environs, the vehicle carrying Raila was hit on the windscreen with what is believed to be a teargas canister or a stone but lawyer Makau Mutua, who was inside the car, claimed it was a bullet.
Among those in Raila's convoy were his daughter Winnie, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Azimio co-principal Martha Karua.
Raila claimed in a tweet he later deleted that Winnie's vehicle was shot at, but this could not be substantiated. He laid the blame on the government.
"This illegitimate regime has consistently shown animosity towards my daughter Winnie, and today they wasted no time in attacking her vehicle," he said.
Hats off to our mobilizers, security teams, scouts, government security officers, publicity and communications, party officials, MPs, MCAs and team KDD!— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 20, 2023
Asanteni nyote. Mungu awabariki. pic.twitter.com/oPVuwbWhzs
I take this opportunity to thank the thousands of patriotic and brave Kenyans who have turned up for today's #DateWithDestiny20thMarch #MassActionKe— Martha Karua SC (@MarthaKarua) March 20, 2023