Mass protests erupted in several towns across Kenya as citizens took to the streets to express their frustration over the rising cost of living in the country.
The demonstrations were called for by opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday, March 19th, who urged his supporters to demand that President William Ruto take immediate action to address the issue.
During a rally in Nairobi, Odinga accused the President Ruto’s administration of running the country with contempt and disregarding the plight of ordinary Kenyans.
“Many people are dying because of a lack of food,” he said, adding that the high cost of living was making it increasingly difficult for people to make ends meet.
On Monday, protesters in Nairobi and other towns across the country set up barricades using burning tires and stones as they clashed with police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. The Nairobi protest resulted in the closure of shops in the Central Business District.
Women also joined the protests in Nairobi, carrying sufurias, or cooking pots, to highlight the high cost of food. The price of food has been steadily increasing in recent months since the new government took office.
Several opposition leaders and citizens have been arrested during the protests, while others who had gathered at the designated meeting point in the city were also dispersed with tear gas. Despite the police brutality, some legislators announced that the protests would continue until their demands were met.