Slow business day in anti-IEBC protests

Protesters are cornered by police officers outside Anniversary Towers in Nairobi on Tuesday when Nasa supporters were calling for the removal of IEBC chief executive. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters calling for removal of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials from office before the re-run of a highly contested presidential vote.

Opposition supporters had gathered outside the commission’s main office on University Way waving placards and chanting “Chiloba out!”

Shortly after midday a smaller crowd of pro-government demonstrators confronted the opposition supporters forcing police to use tear gas to clear the streets and kicking off hours of chaos around the IEBC offices.

Businesses on nearby streets, already suffering from reduced orders, were shut for the better part of the afternoon.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga had earlier in the day called a press briefing and demanded widespread reforms of the IEBC, including the sacking of its chief executive Ezra Chiloba ahead of the repeat poll.

“The tragedy faced today, which we have to confront before it consumes us, is not that elections were stolen, but that IEBC, Jubilee and a number of local and international actors are determined to repeat that fraud,” Mr Odinga said.

In Mombasa, a crowd gathered at the local election office, chanting: “No reforms no elections. Chiloba must go!”

Similar scenes were witnessed in Kisumu.

The prolonged election period is slowing growth in the country with national output forecast to drop to 5.5 per cent.

The repeat poll pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta against Mr Odinga is scheduled for October 27.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.