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Confrontations mar protest over Mandera killings

Rival groups clashed on Harambee avenue on Tuesday over a protest to call for a reshuffle in the security docket in the wake of the Mandera massacre.

Civil activists, under the banner of  #OccupyHarambeeAvenue protest, gathered outside Harambee house only to be confronted by another group, dubbed Young Kenyan Patriots, who were opposing the planned protest.

Chants by the activists“Tumechoka” (We are tired) were countered by their rivals who accused the former of not having the country’s interest at heart.

The arrival of activist Boniface Mwangi was met with displeasure from the rival group, who started chanting slogans against him.

Activists participate in the #OccupyHarrambeAvenue protest in Nairobi on November 25, 2014. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Activists participate in the #OccupyHarrambeAvenue protest in Nairobi on November 25, 2014. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

‘GOVERNMENT NEEDS TIME’

The Young Kenyan Patriots group leader Henry Shitanda said the government needs time to combat the rising insecurity and that it is the responsibility of every Kenyan to provide information that can can help secure the country.

“We do not need any groups to come in and call for changes in the security docket, and that is why we are unhappy with Boniface Mwangi and his group as they are not providing the government with solutions,” he added.

Mr Mwangi said all he wanted was changes in the county’s security.

“We are not going to leave this place without the President acting and ensuring the country is safe. We are tired of promises that something will be done,” said Mr Mwangi.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, who joined the protesters in chanting slogans and even sat with them on the tarmac, urged the President to restructure his security docket.

RESIGN

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale with activists during the #OccupyHarambeeAvenue protest on November 25, 2014. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale (in black t-shirt) with activists during the #OccupyHarambeeAvenue protest on November 25, 2014. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

“We are saying the president needs to rethink his security and if he is unable he should resign for failing to ensure the security of Kenyans. There are many people who can discharge his duties and ensure the country is safe,” said senator Khalwale.

The protesters blocked Harambee avenue forcing motorists to use alternative roads within the City centre.

They camped at Harambee avenue outside the office of the President for hours clad in t-shirts with messages urging the President to act on insecurity.

Heavy security was evident especially at Harambee House, Harambee Annex and Jogoo House which houses the Inspector General’s office.