Police in Kenya on Monday dispersed a protest by opposition leaders and arrested senior members of the parliament as demonstrators took to the streets to march against President William Ruto and the high cost of living in the country.
The convoy of Raila Odinga, who was defeated by the incumbent President William Ruto last year in his fifth straight presidential contest was repeatedly sprayed with tear gas as he addressed supporters from the sunroof of his car.
Odinga’s spokesman, Dennis Onyango, said at least four members of parliament were arrested during protests in Nairobi, including the minority leaders of the National Assembly and Senate.
Odinga had called for nationwide protests over his dissatisfaction arising from the government’s handling of increasing living costs in the country.
Police officers fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters hurling stones and chanting “Ruto must go” in the capital Nairobi’s vast Kibera slum.
“We are suffering and tired of this Ruto regime. We’ve had enough,” said one protester, who asked not to be identified, as tear gas swirled around her.
Police used tear gas and a water cannon to prevent Odinga’s convoy from driving towards the president’s State House residence to deliver a petition.
The convoy sped through the streets of the capital attempting to dodge police roadblocks, before Odinga emerged from the sunroof to address a crowd of supporters.
Tear gas engulfed the vehicle as he spoke, calling for protests every Monday until the cost of living comes down.
Despite Ruto’s promises to bring down living costs since taking power in September, inflation has remained high in East Africa’s economic powerhouse, rising to 9.2% in February.