Hundreds storm ex-leader’s farm in Kenya protests
Crowds have reportedly set fire to parts of a farm owned by the family of former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, apparently in retaliation for another day of fierce opposition protests.
A BBC journalist at the scene in Nairobi’s outskirts saw the invaders stealing sheep, with one man saying he was selling it for $23 (£19).
There were no police in sight and some of the looters were carrying machetes. Others were felling trees, and many of the people on site had been bussed in.
Many businesses near the farm and in the city centre remained closed all day. A gas factory linked to opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has also been vandalised.
Mr Odinga, who is allied to Mr Kenyatta, has told the BBC that the attack on the former president’s farm was carried out by thugs hired by the government. Kenya’s government has not commented on the allegation.
Post-election violence is nothing new in Kenya. But attacks on the property of political leaders’ signals a big shift.
At least one person has been killed in the protests in the western city of Kisumu, an opposition stronghold, where police fired tear gas at protesters who burnt tyres and barricaded major roads.
Since the protests began last week, at least three people have been killed in the violence. In Nairobi’s Kibera neighbourhood, where Mr Odinga enjoys huge support, police have fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters.
Mr Odinga and his Azimio la Umoja coalition first called for demonstrations earlier this month to protest against government failures to curb rising prices, and what he says was the fraudulent victory of President William Ruto in last year’s election.
Even though that win was upheld by Kenya’s highest court, Mr Odinga insists that the election was “stolen” and has called for protests every Monday and Thursday. The main men in this political tussle have all worked with each other at some point.
Mr Odinga is a former prime minister who has run for president unsuccessfully five times. As ex-President Kenyatta’s tenure neared its end, he chose to back his former rival, Mr Odinga, instead of his own deputy, Mr Ruto. —BBC