More than 50 student leaders allied with Kenya’s main opposition party have been detained by the government ahead of scheduled protests on Monday.
Police arrested 50 officials of the Kenya University Students Organization (KUSO) on Saturday while they were addressing a press conference at Chester House in the capital Nairobi.
Nairobi police chief Adamson Bungei confirmed the arrests and said the police were not informed of the meeting beforehand.
Before their arrests, the students had announced through their leader Antony Manyara that they would join countrywide protests organized by the opposition.
“We want all students to join us for the Monday protest to fight the hard economic times, we have no education loans as students and we want a better Kenya,” Manyara said.
According to police officials, the students were taken into custody for holding an illegal meeting ahead of the protests.
The demonstrations are being organized by Azimio La Umoja, Kenya’s main opposition party, to force the government to lower the cost of living skyrocketing.
The students were seen handcuffed and bundled into police vehicles at Chester House. They are expected to be charged and arraigned in court on Monday.
The arrests sparked controversy and criticism by opposition leaders who accuse the government of suppressing dissent.
Simultaneous opposition protests are set to be held on March 20 in six African countries, albeit with different objectives.
Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Tunisia, and South Africa will all be holding protests on March 20, organized independently of each other as they voice their discontent with their government’s handling of political and economic issues.
Leave a Reply