Our Observer takes a look around post-protest Nairobi

Raila Odinga supporters gave up their protests yesterday when the Orange Democratic Movement members finally gave in to the fact that the planned rally would not be going ahead due to police controls. Our Observer Daudi Were followed the police as they blockaded entrances to the city and told people to go home. And William Woeri, who's on the scene today, updates us on the current situation.

‘Save our beloved country’

Our Observer Daudi Were went to see what was happening at the time of the planned rally. He posted these photos and comments on his blog this morning.


I noticed all the newspapers had the same headline, ‘Save our Beloved Country'. The local media has been criticised for not utilising its unique position to help the efforts against the violence, clearly the editors had decided to get proactive.

I was walking towards the centre of town when I encountered a crowd running towards me and obviously away from something. There is only one thing that would make Kenyans break the 100 metre sprint record (we are more of the long distance running types), the police. Or specifically the elite paramilitary police, the General Service Unit (GSU).

 

 

The GSU is not known for their conversational skills and they had one message for all the Kenyans in town, "Rudi Nyumbani" - Go back home. With the ODM [Orange Democratic Movement] threatening to go ahead with the banned rally the cops were not taking any chances in case some ODM supporters arrived in town early. The GSU units clearly had one objective, to clear the streets. I positioned myself behind them and followed them around as they did they work.

 

 

Not everyone was as lucky. Pretty soon and rather effectively after a pretty normal start to the day, downtown Nairobi was like a ghost town.

 

 

Roads were blocked with stones and the GSU surrounded the perimeter of Uhuru Park making sure that anyone trying to get in would have a fight on their hands."

 

 

Post your questions to Daudi Were on his profile page.

The day after: “There’s no sign of anyone”

Our Observer William Woeli is based near to the Uhuru Park where the rally was supposed to take place. He tells us what the situation was like on Friday.

Public transport is back to normal today, and a lot of people have gone back to work. The rally is planned for next Tuesday but there are still people that want to carry on protesting now. The Uhuru Park is still completely blockaded off by the police. There is also a huge police presence in the city. But really, there's no sign of anyone."
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