Azimio protests: A slow start across the country

Some traders went about their business as usual in Nairobi's central business district on March 30, 2023. [PKemoi, Ng'enoh, Standard]

In Kisumu County, pockets of protesters lit tyres in the middle of the roads in efforts to disrupt the flow of traffic. Kisumu-Kakamega Highway witnessed such disruptions.

Deserted streets in Kisumu County on March 30, 2023. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

In the neighbouring Siaya County, protesters grouped in small numbers. Some set tyres alight.

In Migori County, the youth barricaded the busy Migori-Isebania Road using boulders.

Tens of protesters barricaded Migori-Isebania Road on March 30, 2023. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

This will be the third protests day observed by supporters of the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition. The first major demos were held on March 20, and then March 27 and now March 30.

Until recently, the protests, as per Azimio la Umoja, were to be held on Mondays of each week. However, Azimio leader Raila Odinga announced that the demos would be held twice every week - on Mondays and Thursdays.

At the heart of Azimio's grievances, is the high cost of living, which the coalition accuses President William Ruto of refusing to address.

Azimio also claims that the August 9, 2022 presidential election was marred with irregularities that ended up favouring President Ruto. Odinga was Ruto's main challenger in the election.

Odinga also wants the membership of the IEBC selection panel be reviewed to allow the opposition have notable say in the people who pick the next commissioners of the electoral agency.

At the same time, Odinga wants the Azimio team be granted access to the data that was sent to the electronic voter system, which ended up tabulating the number of votes garnered by each of the four presidential candidates in the 2022 presidential polls.

President Ruto has maintained that he won the election fair and square, and that Odinga had the opportunity to challenge his win at Kenya's Supreme Court.

Ruto also said he won't bow to pressure from the opposition, accusing the Odinga-led outfit of seeking a share of the government through illegal means.

As the protests gain momentum, several regions have witnessed little or no protests, including those perceived to be Odinga's strongholds.

Coast, Eastern, North Eastern and Rift Valley are the regions that have experienced little disruption as a result of the demos.

Nairobi, Nyanza and Western are the regions where the demos have been rife.