LIVE BLOG: Azimio Protests Enter Second Day

Raila affirmed that the protests would continue until the current regime meets their demands.

LIVE BLOG: Azimio Protests Enter Second Day
Raila Odinga addressing supporters at Kenyatta Market on July 11, 2023. /RAILA ODINGA

Day 2: Azimio la Umoja leader, Raila Odinga asked his supporters to turn up for the second day of anti-government protests and in large numbers.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, Raila affirmed that the protests would continue until the current regime meets their demands.

The opposition also wants to have a say in the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) while claiming that the government is trying to weaken the electoral body in the run-up to the 2027 elections. 

"We call upon Kenyans to come out in an even bigger way tomorrow and demonstrate peacefully in their neighbourhoods. In Nairobi, the people shall assemble at Huruma Grounds, Kangemi Grounds and Central Park (CBD).

"For those who were unable, for one reason or another, to participate today, you have a chance tomorrow and the day after. We expect the Police to provide security to the demonstrators and the general public," the statement read.

Keep refreshing this page as Viral Tea provides you with the latest updates, reactions and analysis during the Azimio nationwide protests

5:10 pm: Anti-riot police officers forcefully eject Embakasi East MP Babu Owino's supporters from Milimani Law Courts. The rowdy supporters demanded the release of the Member of Parliament after being charged on two counts. 

4.50 pm: MP Chonga, Mwambire and two others charged over Azimio demos.

4.20 pm: Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen says the government will have to spend Ksh200 million to repair roads in Kisumu damaged during protests.

"The roads that have been burnt in Kisumu for the last two weeks will need not less than Ksh 200 million to repair the potholes that have been created because of burning tires," said Murkomen.

The Transport CS also defended his quotation on how much taxpayers will spend in the repairing of the Nairobi Expressway, adding that the machines used in the Mlolongo expressway toll station are expensive and will cost nearly Ksh500 million.

4.14 pm: Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino has been charged at Milimani Law Court with taking part in unlawful assembly and subversion. 

Babu was accused of contravening the Public Order Act (Cap. 56) and the Penal Code (Cap. 63), which defines an unlawful assembly as any assembly of three or more persons who, with intent to carry out any common purpose, tumultuously assemble together in such a manner as to cause fear or alarm to the public or to any person in the neighbourhood.

An unlawful assembly can be prevented by the police if they have reasonable grounds to believe that it will lead to a breach of the peace. The police may also disperse an unlawful assembly by using force if necessary.

Anyone who takes part in an unlawful assembly is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up to Ksh100,000 or imprisonment for up to two years, or both.

The Penal Code defines subversion as the act of inciting, attempting to incite, or conspiring to incite a person to violence against the person or property of the President, the Government of Kenya, or a public officer.

4.13 pm: Azimio leaders slam government, decry arrest of colleagues. Azimio leaders say Kenya turning into a police state

3.28 pm: Protesters engage anti-riot squads in running battles in Kibera where the demonstrators are burning tyres and throwing stones. The police are responding to the demonstrations with a heavy hand, including tear gas canisters and buttons. 

3.26 pm: President William Ruto lauds police officers for upholding peace during the Azimio la Umoja-led anti-government protests on Wednesday, July 19.

"I want to congratulate our police for being bold and ensuring that there is peace and ensuring that action is taken on all offenders so that we ensure that there is peace in Kenya and people's property is protected," he addressed a roadside rally in Isiolo on Thursday, July 20.

"Kenya is the only place we call home and we must protect it  by all means."

3.25 pm:  Embakasi East MP Babu Owino has been presented at the Milimani Law Court after he was detained at the Nairobi Area Traffic Police Headquarters.

According to his lawyer Duncan Okatch, Babu was taken to Wang’uru police station in Kirinyaga after his arrest. He was expected to be arraigned at Wang’uru court, but that did not happen.

2.59 pm: Kenya University Student Organization (KUSO) Deputy President, Rachael Tabitha demands that Embakasi East Babu Owino be arraigned in court following his arrest, alluding that it has been past 24 hours.

"Dear Babu Owino, you've been held at Mwea Wang'uru Police Station for 32hrs, we don't know how they treated you there, now transferred to the Nairobi area police station, we still can't fathom the Emotional/ physical torture you may be going through, especially after learning that you've been unwell. This is an open letter from us, to remind you that tuko na wewe sana (we're very much with you) & the process you're going through is called hardening off in Agriculture," she tweeted.

2.32 pm: Amnesty International Kenya condemns the continued use of force against protestors, noting at least 30 cases of police killings of protesters, inclusive of March 20 and 27 protests (12 killings), Saba Saba protest (12 killings) and Wednesday, July 19 (6 killings). The deaths have been attributed to suffocation from tear gas and lethal shootings. 

"Preliminary investigations have revealed that the police have used beatings, arbitrary arrests and detention of protestors, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of tear gas and water cannons, and other serious rights violations to police the protests.

Subaru vehicles take charge at Jacaranda after police flee for safety after they were overpowered by protestors on July 19, 2023. /SETH OLALE

"We call for an immediate stop to violent policing and criminalising of protests by the state. We demand urgent investigations and prosecution of police officers and their commanders for excessive use of force by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority and the Director of Public Prosecutions," stated Amnesty International in part.

2:10 pm: Azimio la Umoja vows to unmask police officers who allegedly killed or maimed protesters during Wednesday, July 19, anti-government demonstrations.

While addressing the media at the precincts of the National Assembly, Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi claimed that they have sufficient evidence to identify and prosecute the officers who committed heinous acts during the demonstrations.

"We are now calling on the international community, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take a keen interest in the Kenyan situation," Wandayi called for ICC to have the suspected murderous officers tried and jailed for the wanton killings.

1:40 pm: Nairobi Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina is set to sentence eight protesters who pleaded guilty to the charge of taking part in an unlawful protest in Embakasi South. 

The protesters asked the court to be lenient on them since they were only expressing their hunger when they barricaded roads and blocked Kenyans from using public facilities.

1.39 pm: Azimio la Umoja urges their supporters to converge at Nairobi's Central Business District (CBD) for the second day of anti-government mass actions. 

"We have a date with Kenyans in Nairobi's CBD this afternoon. Bring your pots and pans as we ready to sound off for the whole world," a statement by Azimio la Umoja read in parts. 

1.37 pm: Azimio leader, Raila Odinga, releases a video claiming that his bodyguard, Maurice Ogeta, has not been released, contrary to earlier reports that he was set free on Wednesday, July 19.

“We will leave no one behind,” Raila stated.

1.26 pm: Relative calm returns at Kangemi, Nairobi despite police patrols for any gatherings happening in the area.

1.16 pm: Police engage protestors in stone-throwing battles in Kibra, Nairobi County.

1.14 pm: CNN journalist Larry Madowo offers to pay to take to the hospital a construction worker near Kamukunji was hit by police. He was not in the demonstrations.

1:00 pm: Nairobi Regional Commander Adamson Bungei meets the security team deployed to guard Jacaranda grounds from Azimio la Umoja protesters who had threatened to use the field for their demonstrations. 

Nairobi Regional Police Commander Adamson Bungei at Jacaranda Grounds interacting with police officers on July 20, 2023. /FACEBOOK

12:45 pm: Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo writes to Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), asking for an investigation into the killing of Peter Ngolanye, who was shot dead during yesterday’s anti-government protests in Wote.

12:15 pm: Kiboro Primary School in Nairobi's Mathare slum sent home pupils who had reported back to school today, July 20, 2023, over security fears. 

12:00 pm: Azimio la Umoja co-principal and Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua accuses President William Ruto of dividing the nation into two by allowing his supporters a chance to picket and unleash violence on his rivals. 

"Clearly Ruto's regime has split Kenya into two - a shareholders Kenya where United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party supporters can stage counter-demonstrations escorted by police and a republic under siege where police unleash death and mayhem against peaceful demonstrators in flagrant violation of the constitution," Karua claimed on Twitter.

Karua also urged Ruto's administration not to use excess force on peaceful protestors as enshrined in the constitution.

11.30 am: Video surfaces showing a contingent of police officers escorting Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino out of Wanguru Police Station where he was being held since Wednesday, July 18. The officers also moved former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga who was in the same station as Babu. 

"I've been able to see Babu Owino. The police have been very cooperative and have shown a great level of professionalism," Lawyer Ndegwa Njiru confirmed. 

Babu was taken out of the station minutes after the police officers forcefully kicked out his wife, friends and relatives who visited the station to demand his release.

11.22 am: Police lob teargas to disperse protesters in Kisumu

11:20 am: Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga's Lawyer Ndegwa Njiru claims that his client is being held together with Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino at Wang'uru Police Station.

10:55 am: Death toll in Kisumu anti-government demonstrations rises to two after one more victim succumbs to injuries at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH). The hospital revealed that four more victims were admitted. 

10:50 am: The Azimio la Umoja Coalition files a petition with the High Court seeking the release of their nine leaders and their associates following what they termed as unconstitutional kidnapping and detention by the State. 

10.35 am: Tensions run high at Wanguru Police Station as police officers forcibly removed relatives and friends of Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, who had gathered to demand his release from custody.

Babu's wife, Fridah Ongili, is also at the police station and spoke to the protesters.

"We are here to demand the immediate release of Babu Owino. He is innocent of the charges against him and he has been mistreated by the police," Fridah stated. 

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino's wife, Fridah Ongili, speaking on Thursday, July 20, 2023. /BABU OWINO