Raila declares protests every Monday, Thursday ‘due to public demand’
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga says the anti-government protests that began yesterday will be held every Monday and Thursday from next week.
Speaking during a press conference at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation in Nairobi, the opposition chief said Monday's demonstrations held in Nairobi and several parts of the country were "immensely successful".
He said the demonstrations will continue due to public demand.
"In response to public demand, we shall now hold protests every Thursday and Monday beginning next week," Raila said.
At the same time, Raila condemned what he termed as police brutality on Azimio supporters protesting against the high cost of living in the country.
He said two people lost their lives during the demonstrations yesterday even as he assured the families of the deceased support in seeking legal justice.
"Very unfortunately, during this otherwise peaceful process, many of the demonstrators got hurt and at least two innocent Kenyans were killed in cold blood by the police. We pass sincere condolences to families that lost loved ones to police brutality. We will stand with those families in all ways, including pursuing justice on behalf of their loved ones," Raila stated.
"We will ensure that all those responsible are held to account for the lives that were cut short and the pains of those who got injured."
Raila also claimed that there was an attempt on his life and that of Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka during the Monday demos.
"Their cars were shot at but luckily they were unharmed," he remarked.
Raila maintained that the Azimio protests were peaceful and legal, insisting that the use of force by the police was unjustified.
"That brutality witnessed yesterday does not belong in this century. It is more disgusting because the citizens were acting within the provisions of the constitution and we had given notice of the intentions to march on Nairobi. It is impunity at its worst, but we are determined to confront it as they saw yesterday," he added.
He also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all arrested persons even as he accused the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights of silence amid "misuse of the police" by the State.
The former prime minister has listed five reasons for the opposition's calls for peaceful demonstrations, including the high cost of living, electoral injustice, nepotism in state appointments, the sacking of civil servants and defence for democracy.