Security Beefed Up Around State House and State Lodges Ahead of Azimio’s Deadline

Security Beefed Up Around State House and State Lodges Ahead of Azimio’s Deadline

Police have beefed up security has been beefed up around State Houses and State Lodges across the country ahead of the planned nationwide mass action by Azimio la Umoja coalition protesting high cost of living.

In Nairobi, at least seven temporary roadblocks were mounted on Wednesday. March 8th , 2023 on the roads around State House on Ralph Bunche Road, near Kenya Comfort Hotel, at State House Gate C, near State House Girls and Crawford Business Park.

A spot check by, established that security has been beefed up around State Houses and State Lodges in Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Sagana.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga had a fortnight ago issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government which ended on Wednesday. March , 8th  2023.

On on Wednesday. March, 8th , 2023, opposition leaders threatened to rally supporters to storm various government offices to protest over the high cost of living.

Besides the roadblocks, deployment of both undercover and uniformed officers has also been enhanced especially around vital installations with reports indicating that the President’s security, especially while mobile, had also been beefed up. The same has been reported in Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa State Houses.

Nairobi Region Police Commander Adamson Bungei confirmed the erection of the roadblocks but said the State House being a vital installation, there was need for periodic security checks around.

“Nairobi residents are assured of their safety. We are in charge of their security and have deployed adequately,” Bungei said. The police commander further warned that some criminals could take advantage of the protests to rob members of the public but added that undercover officers had been deployed to deal with such cases.

In Kisumu, where the Azimio leader has massive support, police yesterday  mounted a temporary roadblock on the driveway to State Lodge from Jomo Kenyatta Avenue to suppress any possible mass action in the city.

At State House, Kisumu, two land cruisers and a lorry load of police officers both in anti-riot gear and in plain clothes stood strategically at the junction to Kisumu county offices and the State Lodge. The officers diverted traffic to use an alternative route as they kept vigil on the road, just to ensure that there was normalcy within the city roads and its surrounding. Yesterday, Nyanza Regional Police boss Karanja Muiruri said they were not taking any chances.

“Yes, it’s true we have mounted the roadblock. We are not taking any chances,’’ Muiruri said.

Police patrols in and around Kisumu were beefed up incase of any eventuality, with Karanja saying many were deployed on the beat patrols.

Mounted roadblocks

In Nairobi where the roadblocks were erected as early as 6am, the heavily armed officers were inspecting all vehicles and questioning motorists. Motorcyclists were, however, not allowed on  some of these roads.

On Saturday, Raila announced a change of tact that will see demonstrations held simultaneously across the country. This, according to sources, informed the decision of the police to beef up deployment across the country.

Speaking at the burial of Luo Council of Elders Chairman Opiyo Otandi, Raila said the responsibility for mobilising mass rallies had been taken away from Azimio’s top brass.

ODM county officials have been tasked with mobilising Kenyans ahead of Raila’s big announcement today.

Earlier, while speaking at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi Raila said plans for the mass action remained on course.

“We want you to wait for the time. The deadline is on Wednesday at midnight, so you will hear from us on Thursday (today),” he said.

And addressing a press conference yesterday at the Azimio headquarters, Sifuna said that months after Kenya Kwanza came to power, day in, day out, Kenyans are bombarded with stories of how badly things were when the Kenya Kwanza regime took over.