Kenya’s Opposition Leader Raila Odinga Alleges Assassination Attempt
Kenyan Opposition Leader Raila Odinga denounced on Friday an alleged assassination attempt on him during Thursday’s anti-government demonstrations in Nairobi. Odinga said his car was shot at multiple times while he was driving around the capital, rallying protesters.
He showed journalists dents on his armoured vehicle which he said were left by bullets.
“There is no mistaking, for that the intention was basically to kill,” Odinga said. The politician accused the government of being behind the incident.
“I don’t think any police officer could aim to come to shoot and assassinate politicians without being commanded from the very top,” Odinga said.
Two escort cars also had their rear windscreens shattered. Inside the vehicles, the strong smell of tear gas was still present. Odinga said he had instructed his lawyers to proceed to court over the incident.
The 78-year-old long-time candidate for president is one of the leading figures behind anti-government demonstrations. He insisted the protests will only stop after the government lowers the cost of basic food items and allows access to the 2022 election results from the electoral commission’s main computers.
The opposition is blaming President William Ruto for the rising cost of living and alleges he illegally manipulated his election in last year’s polls, although the Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the election results.
President Ruto, who on Thursday arrived back in the country from a four-day trip in Belgium and Germany, has remained adamant that the ongoing protests are illegal.
Police have been using force to disperse protesters and so far four people are reported to have died since the protests started last week. The protests have sparked counter-violence against opposition targets.
The independent Policing Oversight Authority is investigating four incidents of police shooting and killing protesters as well as allegations that police failed to respond to a report on the damaging of private property. The authority has urged police to abide by the law while protecting life and property.
Civil society groups that include Amnesty Kenya and the Kenya Human Rights Commission have expressed concerns over the abuse of human rights by the police during the protests and urged police to uphold their service to humanity.