News24

Kenya protests enter second day

2012-10-30 13:57

Nairobi - Angry demonstrators in Kenya held protests for a second day on Tuesday in the western town of Kisumu, following the killing of a local politician, police said.

Police fired tear gas as hundreds of youth gathered in a slum area, a day after four demonstrators died in riots in the town, on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 350km west of the capital Nairobi.

"The group is trying to demonstrate into town," said regional police chief Joseph Ole Tito. "We will not allow them to come and paralyse business in the town."

Violent protests erupted after Shem Onyango Kwega, a candidate for a parliamentary seat in Kisumu in general elections due in March, was killed by unidentified armed men Monday while driving in town.

Kwega, the local branch chairperson of Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), was shot in the head and later died at the hospital.

His wife was seriously wounded and was taken to hospital.

The murder was initially attributed to gangsters, but a political motive was not immediately ruled out.

The ODM in a statement condemned the "brutal murder" and called on authorities to "investigate the motive" behind the killing.

On Monday, three people died when a tear gas canister thrown into a kiosk they were hiding in caught fire, and another person died after being shot.

"We do not know what exactly happened... all these deaths will be investigated thoroughly," Tito added.

Kisumu, Odinga's fiefdom, was a hotspot during Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence.

The unrest, which left more than 1 000 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced throughout Kenya, was triggered by the contested election of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki against Odinga.