Maandamano Thursday in Kenya: Raila Odinga Survives Assassination Attempt Amidst Violent Protests
The situation remains tense, and it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the unrest.
On Maandamano Thursday in Kenya, opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed that his car was shot at seven times during protests against the government. Several journalists were injured during the protests, and violence erupted in multiple cities, including Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya. The deputy president, Rigathi Gachagua, ruled out any possibility of dialogue between President William Ruto and Raila Odinga.
Raila Odinga's Claims of Assassination Attempt
Raila Odinga was participating in protests in Nairobi on Maandamano Thursday when he claimed that his car was shot at seven times by unknown gunmen. He alleges that live bullets were used during the attack. Although Odinga was not injured, his vehicle sustained damage.
Violent Protests Across Multiple Towns
The protests on Maandamano Thursday quickly turned violent in several towns across the country. In Kisumu, goons looted the new Kisumu mortuary, while in Siaya, protesters set fire to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) office. Youth attempted to invade Kedong Ranch in Narok County, leading to tension in the area. In Oyugis, protesters hijacked a police vehicle, and violence was also witnessed in Migori.
Journalists Injured During Protests
Several journalists were also injured while covering the protests on Maandamano Thursday. One journalist was attacked and injured by police in Kisumu, while another was hit by a teargas canister in Nairobi. The attack on journalists was condemned by Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), who demanded that the government ensure the safety of journalists covering the protests.
We're regressing back to colonial times when African lives were deemed worthless. There's no justification for law enforcement to use excessive force on peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights. | @IntlCrimCourt pic.twitter.com/N1GErLFSFR— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 30, 2023
Deputy President Gachagua Rules Out Dialogue
Despite the unrest witnessed during the protests, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua ruled out any possibility of dialogue between President William Ruto and Raila Odinga. He argued that the opposition was not sincere in their calls for dialogue and was instead using it as a tool for political mileage. Gachagua said that Ruto on Raila can only dialogue on one thing and one thing only: Raila's retirement.
Pipeline Residents Show Solidarity with Protestors
In one of the few light moments on Thursday, Pipeline residents poured water from their balconies to help the protestors below wash off the sour fumes from teargas.
We're grateful to Residents of Pipeline who selflessly poured water down from their high-rise flats to douse our team from the intense teargas. Mubarikiwe. #MaandamanoThursdays pic.twitter.com/txu4wsofm3— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 30, 2023
A Summary of What Happened During the First Maandamano Thursday
Maandamano Thursday in Kenya saw violent protests erupt in multiple towns, with opposition leader Raila Odinga claiming that his car was shot at seven times during the demonstrations. Journalists were also injured while covering the protests, while the deputy president ruled out any possibility of dialogue with the opposition. The situation remains tense, and it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the unrest.