What Happened During the Second Day of the Azimio Protests?

Yesterday was a much darker day for the country as Azimio leader Raila Odinga and his daughter Winnie Odinga were targets of heavy police clampdown.

What Happened During the Second Day of the Azimio Protests?
The Kenya police's anti-riot officers wade off protestors using teargas. Source: Getty.

The second installment of the Azimio protests aliased 'Maandamano Mondays' took place yesterday the 27th of March and saw running battles between the police and protestors. Yesterday was a much darker day for the country, however, as Azimio leader Raila Odinga and his daughter Winnie Odinga were targets of heavy police clampdown. There was also looting and the invasion of a private farm in Ruiru belonging to former President Uhuru Kenyatta and an attack on Raila's company Spectre Limited.

What Happened During the Second Day of the Azimio Protests?

The Unwavering Azimio

Azimio One Kenya didn't hesitate to put on a second day of defiance and staged their anti-government protests for the second Monday now. Led by Raila Odinga, Azimio officials started their journey to freedom in Dagoretti and ended it in Kibera after being vehemently denied access to the Nairobi Central Business District. Things were, however, calmer this time, despite a heavy police presence all over Nairobi and through Nyanza and other protest-prone towns in the country.

Police Clash with Protestors in Kawangware

When Raila and his team reached Kawangware, the police attempted to block them using water cannons and tear gas but the procession stood its ground. Protestors hurled stones and whatever else they could find toward the police blockade and the water cannons, slowly but surely breaking through. Azimio leaders went on with their procession, only to meet access roads to Nairobi CBD that were blocked by the police.

Winnie Odinga's Vehicle Attacked by the Police in Brazen Show of Impunity

In another incident, Raila Odinga's daughter Winnie Odinga's vehicle was attacked by the police in a brazen show of impunity. The scenes resembled those of Mexican police attacking the vehicle of a cartel boss as Winnie's car was hit with a flurry of exploding tear gas canisters, in what is a new low in the confrontation. Luckily, Winnie was not harmed and was able to join her father in Kibera for the protests.

Uhuru Kenyatta's Northlands Farm Attacked by Goons who Stole Livestock and Fell Trees

In another low blow by the Kenya Kwanza administration, goons were hired to attack Uhuru Kenyatta's Northlands Farm. They went in after breaking through the fence on the Kamakis' side and went ahead to help themselves to sheep on the farm and were even brazen enough to fell trees and carry them away. The Northlands farm is an 11,000-acre farm along the Eastern Bypass in Ruiru that belongs to the former first family, the Kenyatta Family.

Uhuru Kenyatta's Farm Vandalized and Property Destroyed in an Apparent Targeted Attack

The Northlands Farm attack was a direct attack on Uhuru Kenyatta as he's come under heavy fire by the Kenya Kwanza government officials and cronies who allege that he is the sponsor of the Azimio demonstrations.

What's shocking is the attack came less than two weeks after the leader of majority in parliament Kimani Ichungw'a threatened to attack the farms of who he called "Azimio's sponsor" Uhuru Kenyatta. He even mentioned the farm specifically. It was also eerily disturbing for the attack to occur after several Kenya Kwanza politicians had hinted at the attack.

Raila was Point-On About Planned Chaos

Trade CS Moses Kuria had tweeted 'Maguta Maguta' alluding to prime land and newly appointed CAS Itumbi had tweeted the name of the farm "Northlands..." The attack also confirmed Raila Odinga's statement where he'd accused Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua of hiring goons to plan attacks. There are allegations that the goons were members of the Mungiki, a criminal sect, ferried from parts of Nairobi via buses.

Police Step Aside and Allow Uhuru's Northlands Farm to be Attacked

All this while, the police were nowhere to be found in an apparent refrain called for by the government. The farm is said to have lost over 1400 goats with numerous buildings and boreholes destroyed. The goons responsible could be heard in videos saying that they would subdivide the land and loot it further until the protests were called off, as they carried away the stolen livestock.

Raila's Gas Cylinder Factory Spectre Limited Attacked

At the same time, Raila Odinga's gas cylinder factory Spectre Limited was attacked by a group of about 50 goons who were ferried there by motorcycles. According to an official at the company, the goons were supported by four unmarked Land Cruisers, seemingly belonging to the ruling party. There were also no police officers to be found and the goons rained stones on the company's building.

Evening Clashes in Kibra

When the day came to an end and the Azimio procession retreated to Karen, a night of terror began in Kibra where a group from a hired "Nubian gang", who were armed with machetes, went on the attack. The group was allegedly hired to counter the protests and went on to burn a church in retaliation for the torching of a mosque. This kicked off overnight clashes in Kibra, breaking the peace and escalating the situation.

Protests Get Violent across the Country

Elsewhere, in Kisumu and Migori, protests got violent with reported injuries and even deaths. Kisumu descended into chaos, even as the Police were this time able to block protestors from entering the business district. The protests saw an individual killed in Kondele, with the police station there receiving a dose of its own medicine as teargas was lobbed by the protestors.

The Kenya Kwanza Administration Proposes New Protests Laws

In an apparent bid to prevent a future reoccurrence of the protests, the Kenya Kwanza government proposed amending protest laws and clamping down even more on protests. The government has proposed that camps protesting pay a fee for cleanup after they protest and to compensate those whose businesses have been looted. The law further proposes restrictions on protest permits and far-reaching bureaucracy to make it harder for dissenters to protest.

Call for Peace

Kenya is taking a turn for the worst and the current political tensions are seemingly at a breaking point. If the leaders of both sides are not careful, the country could descend into chaos and echo the dark days of the 2007 post-election violence. We call for peace from both sides and urge the Ruto administration to seek out and undertake dialogue with Raila Odinga and the Kenya Kwanza camp.

Tweets and media courtesy of NTV Kenya and Raila Odinga.