Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga asks for weekly demonstrations after being sprayed with tear gas by police

A Kenyan police officer fires tear gas at protesters in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday.

In a brief speech to protesters lining up to greet him as he entered Nairobi on Monday, former prime minister and leader of the Kenyan opposition Raila Odinga called for weekly nationwide demonstrations against the high cost of living.

According to his senior adviser Makau Mutua, moments earlier, police in Nairobi shot tear gas and water cannons at his car as they barred his supporters from entering the Serena Hotel, where he was scheduled to hold a news conference.

The protest leader was then forced to move to another part of Nairobi as police prevented his car from entering the Central Business District, where demonstrators and police have been fighting since early in the morning.

“We shall use all available, peaceful, and constitutional means to vindicate our rights,” Odinga said from the sunroof of his car.

Afterward, Odinga drove around Nairobi alongside protesters following his motorcade, which has been repeatedly tear-gassed.

Hundreds of people across the country have taken to the streets to protest against the high cost of daily life.


arrested protesters, including senior opposition politicians, as demonstrations escalated by mid-day local time Monday.

Odinga, who lost the presidential election for a fifth time in August, called for nationwide protests to demonstrate against what he claims, without evidence, is an illegitimate government that stole the election.

Kilifi county senator Stewart Madzayo and Ugunja sub-county lawmaker Opiyo Wandayi were among those arrested and held in Nairobi, according to Odinga’s senior adviser Mutua. Six other officials were also arrested in the capital, he confirmed to CNN, adding the party was still trying to assess the number of arrests.

Members of Odinga’s party accused police of disrupting what they said were peaceful protests and demanded authorities immediately release the arrested politicians.

Police clashed with protesters in Nairobi’s city center, with businesses in the city center shuttered for the day, and in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, where Odinga has substantial support. Clashes were reported in the city of Kisumu, in western Kenya, which is considered a stronghold for Odinga.

High inflation and soaring food prices in the country has led to a cost-of-living crisis for many in Kenya. “We will sustain the protests [beyond Monday] until we get what we deserve,” Mutua said.

A spokesperson for the Kenyan police could not be immediately reached.


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