Kenya may not its next presidential and parliamentary polls until August 2017 but politicians are already attempting to band their supporters together.
It is for this reason that some Kenyans took to the streets yesterday to protest against an election oversight body that they deemed biased towards President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The two past years of elections in Kenya have seen heavy disputing on the eventual results. While the country erupted in violence after the 2007 vote, the 2013 vote saw more controlled dispute and although the sentiment that the results were skewed remained the same, Raila Odinga, a former prime minister, who ran against President Kenyatta accepted the court ruling that upheld the result.
Odinga however holds on to the view that the commission is biased towards President Kenyatta. He therefore led the protest yesterday and the demonstrators moved around the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), in what was a third attempt at protesting for a change of the commission in less than a month.
Riot police arrived on the scene firing teargas and water cannons at the crowds protesting, as more riot police officers armed with batons likewise confronted the hundreds of demonstrators outside the office. The riot police officers were caught on camera in what makes for a shocking display of violence against the protesters, some of whom began running away.
The officers however chased them down, even pulling out some who hid in nearby buildings, handing them over to nearby colleague who beat them and kicked them as they once again attempted to flee.
Kenya’s main opposition party also said that its leader Raila Odinga’s car was hit by a bullet during the protests against the electoral commission yesterday.
Paul Wanjama, police chief for Nairobi central police station, said officers detained at least 15 demonstrators who will be charged today, refraining from stating what exact charges they will face.
Its hard to tell why a protest which was meant to be peaceful, took such a violent turn but hopefully this is no reflection of the coming election year.