Desperate opposition calls for new demonstrations in Kenya

The Kenyan opposition has announced plans for a new anti-government rally next week to protest against escalating prices and taxes after three previous calls for demonstrations failed to mobilize enough support.

In the past week alone, there were three consecutive protests against President William Ruto’s administration, bringing the total number of demonstrations to eight since March.

Although a rally on Wednesday resulted in some incidents and approximately 300 arrests, subsequent protests on Thursday and Friday were relatively calm, with limited impact despite minor scuffles between demonstrators and police in Nairobi’s Kibera, a stronghold of the opposition.

Dennis Onyango, the spokesman for veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, informed media that there will be a new demonstration scheduled for next Wednesday.

On Thursday, Ruto urged an end to the demonstrations, stating that they were “not a solution to the problems of Kenyans.”

Despite authorities banning several rallies in March, April, and July, some protests resulted in violence, with official sources reporting 20 deaths.

The UN, the Commonwealth, and media outlets have called on Ruto and Odinga to engage in dialogue.

Ruto is facing mounting pressure as the cost of living continues to rise, and the government has announced several tax hikes.

Odinga, who contested the election outcome last year, suspended the demonstrations in April and May when Ruto expressed willingness to engage in dialogue.

However, the promised dialogue has not yet taken place.

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