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.
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."
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.