Saturday, 23 September 2023 06:50 GMT

Oppn In Kenya Calls Off Street Protests For Dialogue

(MENAFN- IANS) Nairobi, May 4 (IANS) The main opposition coalition in Kenya, Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance Coalition Party, has called off street protests that they had scheduled for Thursday after the government agreed to one of their demands to engage in bipartisan talks.
The coalition had demanded that the government drop one of the lawmakers it had selected to represent it in the parliamentary talks before they started, noting that the member belonged to the opposition coalition, reports Xinhua news agency.
The government replaced the MP with an agreeable one prompting the coalition to call off protests, which it had resumed after a three-week break.
Regarding its voe to call off the protests, the coalition said it "took this step following the decision by Kenya Kwanza (a Kenyan political alliance currently headed by President William Ruto) to accede to one of our demands that informed the resumption of mass action".
The opposition said instead of holding the protests, they have summoned their seven-member delegation to the bipartisan committee for fresh instructions to inform further engagement with the Kenya Kwanza side.
"As a party, we express deep gratitude to all Kenyans who have participated in the demonstrations in defense of justice and democracy in our country. We also wish to reiterate that we will not hesitate to resume mass action at the slightest indication of lack of goodwill and honesty on the Kenya Kwanza side."
The opposition has been holding protests over the high cost of living and alleged electoral fraud and had vowed to resume demonstrations on Thursday unless their demands are addressed.
On Tuesday, at least two vehicles were burnt and fuel stations vandalised in Nairobi as the coalition held street protests to push the government to act on the high cost of living and electoral injustice.
The protests that followed collapsed talks with Ruto's government over their grievances and slowed down activities in the capital.
Kithure Kindiki, the cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, said 14 suspects have been arrested in connection with the robberies, arson, and malicious damage of property within Nairobi, while 32 have been arrested in different parts of western Kenya.
All suspects will be arraigned in court, said Kindiki.
There was a heavy presence of police across the Nairobi central business district during the demonstrations on Tuesday, with officers blocking roads leading into the city centre to prevent opposition supporters and their leaders from getting in.
Protests were also witnessed in four counties which are opposition bastions in western Kenya, where youth barricaded roads and lit bonfires.


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