A group of irritated demonstrators in Kenya have held a protest in the western town of Kisumu following the killing of a local politician Shem Onyango Kwega
Police have fired tear gas on hundreds of youth as they gathered in a slum area in day two protest. Four demonstrators have died in riots in the town, on the shore of Lake Victoria, some 350km west of the capital Nairobi a day after. Violent protests blew up after Shem Onyango Kwega, a candidate for a parliamentary seat in Kisumu in general elections due in March, was killed by unidentified armed men on 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 passed out at the hospital while his wife was seriously wounded and was taken to hospital. Youths burnt down tyres along a road in Kisumu, Kenya during riots. The murder was at first attributed to thug, 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. Kisumu, Odinga’s, has been 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 activated by the contested election of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki against Odinga.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga leads the race to replace retiring President Mwai Kibaki the same poll showed. The prime minister and Kibaki were the main rivals in a disputed 2007 presidential poll, when then opposition leader Odinga accused Kibaki of stealing the vote.
Not all Kenyans are so gloomy about the prospects for next year’s election.
The same survey showed that many are hopeful that the vote will be better organised than the 2007 election with 73% of those surveyed saying they think police would ensure public safety during the vote.