LIVE BLOG: High Tension As Azimio Begins 3-Day Maandamano

The opposition also wants to have a say in the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)

LIVE BLOG: High Tension As Azimio Begins 3-Day Maandamano
Raila Odinga arriving at Kamukunji Grounds for the Saba Saba rally on July 7, 2023. /NTV

Day 1: Azimio La Umoja heightened its demonstrations against the Kenya Kwanza government while blaming them for the high cost of living as well as for failing to listen to Kenyans' pleas.

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. 

Azimio also wants IEBC to be ordered to open the servers for audit on the 2022 general elections.

However, the nature of previous demonstrations has drawn the anger of President William Ruto's camp which vowed to deploy all resources in their inventory to disperse protestors and take action against those intending to take advantage of the protests to destroy property.

A police officer running away from protesters who throwing stones on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. /MA3ROUTE

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki vowed not to tolerate any actions by protestors that may trigger violence, adding that he would not let the country slide into anarchy.

In response to the protests, the government has withdrawn the security detail of Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Mama Ngina Kenyatta. All eyes will be on the opposition and the government ahead of the three-day protests.

Furthermore, the government ordered all day schools in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu counties to be shut ahead of the protests.

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

5.23 pm: Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama speaks on scuffle that ensued after he drew a gun at protesters.

"I was visiting the constituency and was informed about demonstrators vandalising my hotel. This is not a peaceful protest as alleged. Raila should admit that he lost the elections and wait for another five years for the 2027 elections."

4.56 pm: Raila Odinga confirms release of his bodyguard Maurice Ogeta after arrest and urges all leaders, including Babu Owino, set free unconditionally.

4:43 pm: Raila asked his supporters to end the anti-government protests at 5:00 pm. The Azimio leader urged the protestors to rest and resume demonstrations on Thursday, July 20. 

4.21 pm: Nairobi Senator, Edwin Sifuna reveals that the anti-government demonstrations will only be called off when the cost of unga reduces.

“The demonstrations will only end the day the price of maize flour goes down,” Sifuna stated while speaking in Kibra.

4:18 pm: Former Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa's efforts to lead protests in Bungoma were thwarted after anti-riot officers dispersed the crowd. 

4:02 pm: Azimio principal Martha Karua condemned the arrest of 10 leaders during the mass protests. They include Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga and Kilifi County speaker Teddy Mwambire, MCA Mabatini Wilfred Odallo, Ngei Ward MCA Redson Onyango.

Others include Erick Otieno and Anthony Otsula (budget officers at Nairobi County Assembly), Maurice Ogeta (Raila's bodyguard) and Dennis Onyango (Raila Odinga secretariat spokesperson). She demanded their immediate release.

4.00 pm: Residents of Egesa in Kisii 'cook' stones to express economic hardship

3.48 pm: Angry youth shout down Nyaribari Chache MP Zaheer Jhanda, who is also the former lover of socialite Amber Ray, as he attempted to calm an agitated crowd in downtown Kisii. Chants of ' Ruto must go,' cut short his bid to address the crowd that had early engaged police in brief skirmishes.

3:42 pm: President Ruto maintained his stance that his government would not be involved in a handshake deal with the opposition. 

"We are okay with having a dialogue as long as it involves the people of Kenya but we will not hold discussions on power sharing. Kenyans already made that decision at the ballot. There will be no handshake," he stated. 

3:33 pm: Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro chided Azimio coalition principals, asking their whereabouts during the mass protests. 

3:28 pm: Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua condemns the mass protests during a visit to Kericho in the company of President Ruto.

"I have placed all traps available, they have nowhere to hide. We won't rest until we protect Kenyans' lives and properties," Gachagua stated.

3:12 pm: Anti-government protestors clash with other anti-Azimio demonstrators in Kibra. 

2:59 pm: Police flee for safety after they were overpowered by protestors at Jacaranda in Nairobi.

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

2:52 pm: Police lob tear gas at a group of youths who had blocked the Ring Road as well as the bridge linking Lindi and Kisumu Ndogo in Kibra.

2:50 pm: A teenage boy is rescued by Mathare residents after he was injured in a scuffle between police officers and demonstrators.

2:46 pm: Police shoot dead a protestor at Mathenge Grounds, Nakuru town, leading to barricades erected on the road by the demonstrators. It is reported that the deceased was a member of the boda boda community. 

2.43 pm: Show of compassion as police officers share a soft drink with a lone protester in Homabay who signalled he was hungry

2:24 pm: Three protesters suffer gunshot wounds in Nakuru and two others in Makueni. Nakuru Town East Sub County Police Commander Martin Wekesa confirmed that the trio was rushed to Nakuru Level Five Hospital for treatment. 

2.15 pm: A section of Kericho MCAs stage a protest by walking out of President William Ruto’s Ksh1.3 billion Kimugu Water Project commissioning event, citing harassment by his security team.

2:06 pm: A police officer, disguised as a journalist, apprehends a protestor in Mathare, Nairobi. 

A plainclothes police officer posing as a journalist arrests a protestor in Mathare, Nairobi on July 19, 2023. /CITIZEN DIGITAL

1:48 pm: Government restores security at Mama Ngina Kenyatta's Muthaiga and Ichaweri homes hours after withdrawal.

1:31 pm: Protestors uproot Rongo's police station sign and use it to block the road during the anti-government protests. 

1:21 pm: Former Laikipia Woman Representative Cate Waruguru urges Nanyuki residents to desist from joining the mass protests.  

1.09 pm: Police disperse protestors who had broken into a wines and spirits shop in Imara Daima Estate, Nairobi and made away with drinks of unknown value.

1:04 pm: Protestors break into a church in Mathare, take out a water tank and burn it on the road. As a result of the confrontation with police, six people are nursing injuries including three children. 

12.58 pm: Nakuru West MP Samuel Arama seen drawing his gun and threatening some of the protestors.

Nakuru West MP Samwel Arama draws his gun after a confrontation with rowdy youth on July 19, 2023. /SETH OLALE

12:52 pm: Kirinyaga Senator Kamau Murango and Woman Representative Njeri Maina lead MCAs and residents in anti-government protests in the county.  

12.33 pm: Africa Uncensored journalist, Calvin Rock, apprehended by men in plain clothes driving a black Subaru while he was taking photos of the protests at Jacaranda.

"Calvin identified himself as a journalist to the men who appeared to be police officers but an eyewitness says they nonetheless shoved him into the back of their vehicle and drove off. We are still trying to locate Calvin," tweeted John Allan Namu.

12.23 pm: Philip Etale claims police have raided the house of Raila Odinga's Spokesman Dennis Onyango and arrested him.

"Police have a few minutes ago raided the house of Raila Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango, along Mbagathi Way ransacked it, and arrested him. His son says they have driven off with him in two Subaru vehicles," Etale tweeted.

12.22 pm: Religious leaders hold a press conference and urge Raila Odinga to call off the anti-government demonstrations, demanding a resumption of bipartisan talks.

12.02 pm: Police mount a roadblock at the entry of Murang'a town as they inspect all vehicles

12.00 pm: Police battle anti-government protesters in Mathare Number 10 area amidst a pathway full of stones.

11:57 am: Anti-riot officers disperse residents who were playing football along Hospital Road in Kisii.

11:54 am: Media reports claim that Martha Karua and Maina Njenga have been blocked from leaving a local hotel in Nanyuki. 

11.43 am: Raila Odinga is nowhere to be seen at his Karen residence nor at his offices in Capitol Hill.

11:43 am: Kenyatta Family hires private security officers to guard her home in Muthaiga and businesses in Ichaweri, Gatundu, a day after her security was withdrawn.

11.35 am: Citizen TV's Hassan Mugambi is forced to take cover as police battle protestors in Woodley, Kibra.

11:34 am: Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga and his Personal Assistant Victor Katana were arrested in Mtwapa, Kilifi County few minutes after leading anti-government protests. 

11.30 am: UDA Secretary-General, Cleophas Malala leads counter-demonstrations against Azimio la Umoja in Kakamega Town, urging residents to maintain peace during the protests.

11.29 am: Police disperse protesters in Woodley, Kibra

11:03 am: Two people were hospitalised at Oruba Nursing Home in Suna West, Migori County after they were allegedly shot with rubber bullets. 


10:56 am: ODM Communications Director Philip Etale claims that Raila's bodyguard Maurice Ogeta was abducted by unknown people in plain clothes suspected to be police officers. 

"Unknown people in plain clothes suspected to be police officers from the DCI have abducted Raila Odinga's bodyguard Maurice Ogeta while driving to work bundled him in the car boot and driven away with him to an unknown destination. His whereabouts remain unknown," Etale tweeted.

10:46 am: Citizen TV reporter Ayub Abdikadir is forced to end live reporting after officers lob teargas canisters at protestors in Kamukunji Grounds. 

10:20 am: Police officers forced to use teargas to disperse United Democratic Alliance (UDA) supporters who gathered in Mombasa.

9:21 am: Reports allege that Azimio la Umoja principal Martha Karua and former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga will lead protests in Nanyuki.