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BY CORRESPONDENTS,2ND OCT 2017-Demonstrations were witnessed in various parts of the country Monday as supporters of the National Super Alliance NASA heeded their leaders’ call to stage street demos to push for reforms at the electoral commission.
In Kisumu, the demos kicked off on an ugly note as police clashed with protesters in Kondele, one of the slums in the lake-side city.
Trouble started after the slum dwellers lit bonfires and blocked roads leading to Kisumu town.
Anti-riot police lobbed tear gas and engaged the demonstrators in running battles as they battled to restore order.
The demonstrators, led by Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda, were planning to march to IEBC offices in the Central Business District.
They were still assembling but the blocking of the roads with bonfires drew the attention and wrath of police who came and broke up their meeting.
Mr Ouda condemned police action, saying the officers were infringing on the rights of Kenyans to protest.
“We can’t be picketing peacefully and we are being tear-gassed. We only want to match to the IEBC offices and present our memorandum,” he said.
In Kakamega, hundreds of youths joined former area Senator Boni Khalwale in protests even though shot lived as police dispersed demonstrators shortly after they gathered to start marching.
The protesters marched through the streets of Kakamega town chanting “Chiloba Must Go!!”, in reference to the besieged IEBC Chief Executive officer Ezra Chiloba.
Residents expressed their displeasure with the county leadership.
“Where is the governor, woman rep, senator and MCAs? Why are they not standing with Khalwale in the fight for reforms?” said Mr Samuel Otuku, a resident.
Police remained vigilant and patrolled the town and dispersed those standing in groups using tear gas.
Earlier, county police commander Tito Kilonzo said the protests had been disallowed on security grounds as they could lead to a breakdown in law and order.
“We received communication last night to stop the planned demonstrations and have informed the organisers about it,” said Mr Kilonzi.
Things were not different in Garissa either.Residents thronged the streets of the town chanting IEBC must go as they carried twigs and placards.
The opposition wants systems and personnel changes implemented at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of repeat presidential election slated for October 26.
They include removal of more than 10 senior officials accused of bungling August 8 General Election, a proposal the ruling Jubilee Party has opposed.