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Police lob teargas to disperse protesters in Mombasa

Police in Mombasa lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse protesters along Moi Avenue, the protesters began their demonstration at the iconic ‘Pembe za Ndovu’ to protest against the high cost of living.

The police successfully barricaded the busy Moi Avenue and stopped the protesters from accessing the Central Business District (CBD). The activists and political leaders later converged to brief the press.

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The activists pointed an accusing finger at police officers for disrupting the demonstration which was peaceful despite having been given a green light on Wednesday.

“One of our girls was injured in the leg by the police. The police have beaten us and we had no bad intentions,” said the visibly agitated MUHURI Rapid Response Officer Francis Auma.

“This nation is ruled by the constitution and we feel that everybody has the responsibility to follow the constitution,’’ said Kituo Cha Sheria Programme Officer Zedekiah Adika adding that they notified the police but “this notification was declined at the last resort.”

He added that the police failed to give an explanation for cancelling their demonstration yet there is no security threat in Mombasa.

“The fact that you’re suppressing us will not take down the cost of food. we want the leadership of this nation to feel that the cost of food is too high and it needs to come down. There must be a rule of law in this country. There cannot be an order staying the finance act and then some people in EPPRA feel they are too high in the chain to obey the law,’’ said Adika.

Members of Parliament Mishi Mboko (Likoni MP), Badi Twalib (Jomvu MP), Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni MP),  Mohamed Machele (Mvita MP), Zamzam Mohamed (Women Rep) and Senator Mohammed Faki lauded the Civil Societies for organizing the demonstration saying the finance act 2023 will burden Kenyans.

Mishi Mboko took a swipe at the Kenya Kwanza administration for not honouring their campaign promises by increasing VAT to 16 percent on fuel.

“You know everything is about fuel, it’s about production and transportation. Fares have increased. You promised within 100 days the cost of living will come down yet we are heading to the ninth month since they took power,” said the Likoni MP.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib said the police trailed them for more than 30 minutes after disrupting their demonstrations. He revealed that they will work “hand in hand with civil societies to fight for Kenyan rights”.

“The police who lob tear gas at us, I am certain that their children in the evening will sleep without eating because of the high cost of living,’’ said Badi Twalib calling on Mombasa residents regardless of party affiliation to join the bandwagon against the high cost of living.

“There is a high cost of living in this country, and the cost of doing business is high as the port of Mombasa loses business to the port of Dar es Salaam,’’ he added.

 

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