20 injured after violent Kenya election protests

Wednesday October 11 2017

nasa demos homa bay

This spare parts kiosk in Homa Bay town went up in flames after police tear-gassed it to flush out anti-IEBC protesters on October 11, 2017. PHOTO | BARACK ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By The EastAfrican
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At least 20 people have been admitted to hospital in Kisumu after opposition supporters in Kenya clashed with police during demos to demand electoral reforms

Hundreds of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga's supporters poured into the streets in his western strongholds of Kisumu and Homa Bay, carrying sticks and placards and chanting "No reforms, no elections".

The police used teargas to disperse them.

At Kisumu's referral hospital, the matron Juliana Otieno said they were overwhelmed and had sought reinforcement from the Health ministry's Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko. 

“I am overwhelmed and the number of patients being brought in is high. Nurses are not at work and there is no one to attend to them,” said she said. 

By 4pm, 19 patients had been brought to the hospital, three of whom had gunshot wounds, she said. 

The rest had either been clobbered or were suffering from teargas burns. 

Among them was a teenage girl who was brought in unconscious state after being hit and inhaling teargas.

'No live bullets'

Another man was nursing a gunshot wound in his buttock at Nightingale Hospital. 

Kisumu police boss Titus Yoma denied that live bullets had been fired at the protesters. 

Meanwhile in Homa Bay, the police recovered a gun that had been lost when a protesting mob attacked an officer.

According to witnesses, the incident happened after a kiosk caught fire and burn down following a teargas canister lobbed at the spare parts shop to flush out protestors.

The angry mob caught up with the officer who had hidden in a nearby timber yard, while his colleagues retreated. 

He was rescued by a local youth leader who begged the mob to let him go. The police picked him up and rushed him to hospital. 

Homa Bay police commander Marius Tum said his team would pursue and charge the culpable protesters for assaulting an officer. 

Daily protests

The latest demonstrations came a day after Mr Odinga, announced Nasa's withdrawal from the October 26 repeat presidential election.

Nasa accuses the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of rejecting its conditions that would level the playing field for the repeat duel.

The Supreme Court of Kenya on September 1 nullified the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing irregularities and illegalities during the August 8 poll.

In Nairobi, security agencies engaged the demonstrators in running battles, as some ugly scenes, including the stoning of vehicles and looting, were witnessed.

The Nasa leaders have now called for daily demonstrations beginning next week, in the quest for the electoral reforms.

-Reported by Nation and agencies.