Calm reported in Coast, Mt Kenya and North Rift

Uasin Gishu leaders led by Senator Jackson Mandago during a press conference in Eldoret on March 20, 2023. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

The Coast, Mt Kenya and North Rift regions remained relatively calm with most residents going about their activities yesterday.

In Mombasa, a handful of protesters who attempted to access the town's Central Business District (CBD) were repulsed by the police. Two women who were riding on motorbikes were arrested near Marikiti roundabout.

A heavy police presence was witnessed in perceived violence hotspots including Kisauni, Bangladesh slums in Jomvu, Likoni and Nyali but there was calm.

No protests were witnessed in Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu and Tana River counties despite a visit by Azimio leaders Raila Odinga, Martha Karua and Kalonzo Musyoka at the Coast one week ago.

Local MPs and other political leaders were yesterday reported to be in Nairobi attending the mass action there.

"We are in Nairobi for the mass action," said Jomvu MP Badi Twalib.

Mohamed Abdillahi, a trader at Marikiti (Mackinon) market said the business went on well, save for the isolated cases of rowdy youth who tried to provoke the police.

Matatu Owners Association (MOA) national vice chairman and Mombasa businessman Mr Ali Bates said transport business was not disrupted.

"Demonstrations will not give starving residents food. Locals are busy concentrating on their daily chores to bring food to the table, "stated Taveta Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Mericho.

Calm was witnessed in major towns in the North Rift with business activities going on uninterrupted.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Uasin Gishu County branch chairman, Mr Willy Kenei and his Nandi counterpart Samuel Seroney, said peace prevailed in Eldoret and Kapsabet towns respectively. They, however, fear that the mass action witnessed in Nairobi could have a negative impact on the economy in other areas.

Meanwhile, Kenya Kwanza leaders drawn from the North Rift Region have urged locals to ignore calls for mass action.

Led by Uasin Gishu County Senator Jackson Mandago, they termed the demonstrations as illegal and contrary to the law.

[Lynn Kolongei, Titus Too, Jane Mugambi, Phares Mutembei and Purity Mwangi, Patrick Beja and Renson Mnyamwezi]

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