At least one person has been reported dead following an opposition protest in Kenya’s western city of Kisumu.
The riot police denied earlier reports alleging that the man was shot and they seem to be corroborated by Aga Khan hospital head Dr Sam Oula who confirmed the death but rejected claims by leaders that he had gunshot wounds.
The police had allegedly beat up the man on the head leaving him for dead, according to witnesses, the hospital said the man may have been hit with a blunt object.
Several other protesters were likewise injured and the incident incited the protesters even more as they began to light bonfires and throw stones at the police.
Just last week the actions of the riot police at an earlier protest was heavily criticized as images and a video of their violent curbing of the protests were widely shared online.
They were pictured assaulting demonstrators in the capital, Nairobi. Monday’s protest will mark the fourth opposition protest regarding the current electoral commission.
The opposition, Cord alliance is seeking for the resignation of the current members of the electoral commission ahead of the Presidential elections in Kenya next year.
The opposition leveled accusations of bias of the current electoral commission in favor of the governing Jubilee coalition. They therefore want their replacement with a neutral body.
the Deputy President of Kenya, William Ruto told BBC’s Focus on Africa TV that the protests on Monday were illegal because the police were not given adequate warning and could not prepare appropriately. He added that; “Peaceful protests are safeguarded and provided for by the constitution,”.
He also spoke on the previous display of brutality from the past protest saying that the officers who were caught on camera beating protesters last Monday, “will be brought to book”.
Investigations are still ongoing into the behavior of the officers in the opposition protest. Some other places have been caught up in the demonstrations including the coastal city of Mombasa, where police fired tear gas to prevent protesters from gathering.
The opposition alleges that one of its senators leading protests in the western town of Kakamega has been arrested.
The president had in the past week implored the opposition to limit their agitations for changes in the electoral commission to the use of constitutional procedures. A statement released by the government saw him urging them to “exercise mature… politics instead of using illegal means to attract undue attention”.