Chaos and gunshots as Raila Odinga enters Nairobi CBD

Friday November 17 2017

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This bus, belonging to Forward Sacco, was set ablaze during the chaos on Jogoo Road on November 17, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NATION TEAM
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Chaos, teargas, running battles and suspected live bullets marred Nasa leader Raila Odinga's entry into Nairobi city centre upon his arrival from the US on Friday.

Mr Odinga left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in a convoy of tens of vehicles accompanied by a host of Nasa leaders and hundreds of their supporters.

GRIDLOCK

Chaos started immediately the convoy left the airport, with the vehicle ferrying Mr Odinga taking the wrong side of Mombasa Road.

This was because the route heading to Mombasa had a gridlock stretching kilometres following violent confrontations between police and Mr Odinga’s supporters in the morning.

The Nasa supporters wanted to force their way into the airport but police lobbed teargas canisters at City Cabanas and other sections of the road to arrest their march.

The convoy later diverted from Mombasa Road to Jogoo Road but the chaos followed Mr Odinga and his team as police engaged youths in running battles.

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Mr Odinga rides as his supporters march on Likoni Road into the city centre on November 17, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Their plan was to march through Jogoo Road on to Haile Sellasie Avenue, then into Uhuru Park, the venue of their rally, but the violent confrontations just would not stop.

LOSSES

The clashes between Nasa supporters and police brought business to a standstill on the busy road that serves eastern parts of the capital.

The City Stadium roundabout was brought to a standstill as police blocked the road in their bid to stop the chaos from spilling over into the town centre.

For the better part of the afternoon, no traffic was moving as traders closed kiosks and fled for their safety.

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Police lob teargas at Mr Odinga's supporters on Lokoni Road on November 17, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A minibus belonging to Forward Travellers sacco, a police lorry and two pull carts were torched outside Burma Market on Jogoo Road.

Along the road, smoke from burning tyres billowed and competed with the teargas police were firing without stopping.

BULLETS

From Rikana Supermarket all the way to Muthurwa Market, the road was littered with the rocks Nasa supporters were using to engage the police.

The chaos took a different turn at Muthurwa after Nasa supporters were engaged by rival group believed to be Jubilee supporters.

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Police fire teargas at Mr Odinga's convoy on Likoni Road. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta's supporters are opposed to Nasa demos, which they argue disrupt businesses and lead to destruction of property and loss of lives.

Police used verbal orders, teargas and live bullets to restore calm and order on the road without much success.

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Nasa supporters burn tyres on Jogoo Road as they engage police. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

They also sprayed the youths wit water canons but the Nasa supporters would not stop charging at them.

At some point, police resorted to using live bullets, with gunshots heard for a few minutes near Muthurwa Market.

A man was seen in writhing in pain on live TV after he was allegedly shot in the foot.

Reports indicate some protesters sustained fatal injuries in the clashed that lasted for over five hours.

JOURNALISTS HIT

Motorists and journalists were not spared as they were attacked and injured in the chaos.

A Nation car has been hit by a teargas canister lobbed by the police. The canister hit and smashed the car’s windscreen.

The officers fired the teargas as the car made its way through the Likoni roundabout to join Jogoo Road.

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The Nation vehicle that was smashed in the chaos on Jogoo Road. PHOTO | SILAS APOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Inside the car the Nation reporters Silas Apollo, Brian Moseti, photographer Denis Onsongo and driver Nicholas Musyoka.

Earlier, police assaulted Mr Moseti at the airport and snatched him his staff badge.

RAILA

The officers accused the journalist of taking their pictures as they battled the protesters.

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Police confront Nasa supporters with teargas and water canons on Jogoo Road. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The attack on the car occurred in the convoy of Mr Odinga who was en route to the city's central business district.

KTN journalist Duncan Khaemba was also hit and injured on the head as he reported the violence that was covered live by national TV stations.

Later, Mr Odinga, while addressing his supporters in Upper Hill, condemned the violence and accused President Kenyatta of sending police to disrupt his reception.

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Nasa supporters escort their leaders along Mombasa Road on November 17, 2017. The peaceful march later turned chaotic. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

He vowed to soldier on with his quest for electoral justice and thanked his supporters for standing with him.

"This (police response) is a sign of a crumbling regime," he said.

"The third liberation is unstoppable."

Reported by Brian Moseti, Harry Misiko and Silas Apollo.