Pipeline residents pour water on Azimio protesters to ease teargas effects
Residents of Nairobi’s Pipeline Estate on Thursday poured water on Azimio protesters after police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse them.
In a show of solidarity, the residents, whose balconies are often stacked with jerrycans, threw water on the protesters who were grappling with the effects of teargas.
Some of the protesters were seen asking for more ‘showers of blessing’ from the towering flats in the area, and the residents duly obliged.
This was after the crowd, led by opposition leader Raila Odinga, had first gathered in Imara Daima before snaking its way through Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums.
The plan was to join Outering Road via the service lane at Kware area but police were strategically positioned on either side of the road to prevent them from advancing further.
As soon as they approached the nearby footbridge connecting Kware and Tassia, police lobbed teargas and the protesters took to their heels before assembling later.
Odinga’s motorcade was forced to make a U-turn at Pipeline and headed up towards the Taj Mall roundabout before proceeding toward Airport North road.
Water cannons and police vehicles had blocked both sides of Outering, and fires had been lit by a group of youth who engaged the officers in running battles.
Earlier, Odinga had explained why he was leading the demos, saying the cost of living was at an all-time high.
While addressing the crowd from the roof of his car, the former Prime Minister said the protests were centred around the cost of living, access to the IEBC servers and reinstating the ousted IEBC commissioners.
“Kenya Kwanza made empty promises to Kenyans. We want the price of unga, fuel, electricity and water to come down.
“They don’t want us to hold protests but we will not relent until there is change,” said Odinga.
On Wednesday, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said the government would not give in to Odinga’s demands, accusing him of trying to enter the government through the back door.
Speaking at Kangocho Secondary School in Mathira, Gachagua said Odinga was used to blackmailing previous regimes but it would not work this time round.
“Kenya is a country governed by the rule of law and we have a constitution. Huyu jamaa wa maandamano amezoea tuforce his way into government through violence.
“He is trying to blackmail us into talks but we shall not give in. The cost of food is not the issue…when he was in govt (after the handshake) he did not demonstrate yet the cost of living was at an all-time high,” said the DP.
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