At least two people died Monday (23 May) when Kenya's police shot, beat and tear gassed demonstrators across the country who called for the electoral commission to be dissolved due to allegations of bias and corruption.
In the capital, Nairobi, police tear-gassed demonstrators in the Kibera area, who were trying to make their way to the city centre where electoral commission offices are. Demonstrators responded by throwing stones. In the central business district The Associated Press reporters said police were tear gassing gatherings of five people or more, covering the area in noxious smoke.
Kenyan police fired tear gas at a convoy of vehicles carrying opposition leader Raila Odinga. A water cannon truck later forced the convoy out of the city centre, a Reuters witness said. Police earlier fired tear gas at about 50 protesters as they tried to march on the offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the capital.
Police also tear-gassed demonstrators in opposition strongholds in Mombasa and Kisumu, Kenya's second and third largest cities. Opposition senator Boni Khalwale was arrested leading protests in the town of Kakamega. At least two people are reported to have been shot dead by police in Siaya County, in western Kenya on the shore of Lake Victoria.
Similar protests called by the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) have been held every Monday for four weeks. Kenya's next presidential and parliamentary polls are not due until August 2017, but politicians are already trying to galvanise their supporters in a nation where violence erupted after the 2007 vote and the opposition disputed the outcome in 2013. CORD, led by Raila Odinga who lost the 2013 vote and unsuccessfully challenged the result in court, has accused the IEBC of bias and said its members should quit.