Nairobi demo turns chaotic, 10 people arrested
Ten people were on Thursday arrested as protests against the high cost of living and graft at the Ministry of Education turned chaotic.
And police were forced to lob several teargas canisters to disperse the group of Unga Revolution campaigners who are pressing for a reduction in the cost of flour as well as the sacking of Education minister Prof Sam Ongeri.
The Ministry of Education has of late been on the spotlight over the loss of Sh4.2 billion meant for the Free Primary Education kitty.
The group, which was later on joined by a number of university students, had initially gathered at the Kencom bus terminus, where they in turns, vented their anger at the government failure to reduce the price of flour.
'We are pained by the high cost of flour and we shall not keep quiet about it,” said Mr Fredrick Odhiambo, one of the protestors.
Consumers have been paying between Sh130 and Sh140 for a 2kg packet of maize flour, up from Sh75 at the beginning of the year but according to them, this should further be reduced to Sh30.
It is then that they decided to hold a procession along the city streets to Harambee Avenue – where the offices of President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are situated to demand answers on what the government is doing to arrest the situation.
They had also planned to visit Parliament.
However, on reaching the junction that joins Moi and Harambee Avenues – they encountered a group of law enforcement officers - both from the Regular Police and General Service Unit - who declined to let them proceed.
The law enforcers, some of whom had fierce police dogs in tow, had arrived at the venue in three lorry loads.
It is here that the protestors demanded to be let through, with the law enforcement officers, who were very much restrained, standing their ground that they will not pass.
Amid chants, the placard waving protestors refused to abandon their mission.
At this time, a huge group of curious onlookers had gathered to check what was happening.
Traffic along the busy roads was also paralysed.
Suddenly, the officers swung into action, volleying several teargas canisters that sent both the protestors and onlookers scampering for safety.