The demonstrators from various civil rights groups in the city demanded action against those involved in looting of billions of shillings meant for the fight against coronavirus.
By 9am on Tuesday, protestors had gathered at Makadara grounds where they demanded accountability for Covid-19 funds as they chanted ‘Haki Yetu’ and ‘Polisi Shika Wezi’.
However, they were met with anti-riot police officers armed with batons and teargas canisters.
They were teargassed by police who engaged them in running battles along Makadara Road and part of Digo Road, obstructing traffic flow.
The protestors called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and urged for a probe into the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).
They vowed to continue demonstrating until all the suspects involved are arrested.
While making the arrests, the police maintained that the protests were illegal due to Covid-19 guidelines.
Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) Director Mr Khalif Khelef expressed disappointment in the way the protestors were handled.
“It is very unfortunate that as I turn 71 today, I have participated in this demo which I did 30 years ago and we are still doing the same thing. We are very far away from achieving our aspirations of having a Constitution that will protect people’s rights. We did inform the police that there will be a demo according to the law two days ago,” he said.
“Police response is very unfair and this is a sign that the police do not work independently. People demonstrate because there is a real problem, embezzlement of the Covid-19 funds,” he added.
He called on Kenyans to have a week of civil disobedience as the country marks 10 years since promulgation of the New Constitution.
“We are back to square one. Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga want to take us back to the dark days through BBI.”
HAKI Africa and the Fast Action Movement also expressed disgust at the arrest of activists.
HAKI Africa Executive Director Mr Hussein Khalid said the Constitution was violated outright by the police who violently dispersed peaceful protestors.
“Such a move by the police is unacceptable and should not be allowed to go unchecked. Article 37 of the Constitution guarantees Kenyans the right to protest. The protestors were fully abiding by health regulations and maintaining social distance when they were dispersed. We demand the immediate release of those arrested. We further call on the senior police officials to ensure such gross violation does not recur again,” Mr Khalid said.
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