Kenya opposition supporters defy protest ban


Asked whether Mr Odinga had been blocked from visiting, the State Department official said, "It is our understanding that nothing prevents Raila Odinga from getting on a plane and flying to the United States". "They are all lying there in a pool of blood", said another witness Charleston Okelo. The outbreak of the street riots followed the publication of the decision by a Kenyan high court, according to which another candidate can be included in the list of presidential aspirants in the elections scheduled for October 26.

However, Odinga on Tuesday announced he would not take part, accusing the IEBC of failing to make fundamental reforms. But longtime rival Odinga says his withdrawal legally forces election officials to begin the entire process from scratch - a move that leaves more time for his reform demands to be met.

However the IEBC appears to be pushing forward with plans for an October 26 vote, saying only that Odinga had yet to submit the required form to officially pull out of the race.

Kenyatta on Friday signed a supplementary budget allocating $116 million (12 billion shillings) for the new election.

National Super Alliance (NASA) has opposed these laws and threatened to seek the intervention of the courts to stop them from coming into effect.

Towns affected include Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu where Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi warned of tough action on protesters making their way to the Central Business District, with plans now underway to arrest the organiser of earlier protests Norman Magaya of NASA.

In Kisumu, Nyanza Regional Commissioner Wilson Njega said police would deal firmly with demonstrators who defy the ban to hold protests in the city centre which has been the theater of running battles in the past. A separate healthworker at the same hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said eight people had been admitted "with gunshot wounds".

In Nairobi, opposition leaders tried to stage a march but when police fired teargas, the protesters dispersed.

"We are not intimidated", insisted James Orengo, a vocal NASA official.

Several were treated for gunshot wounds on Wednesday in Kisumu, according to a doctor at the local hospital. However the country still has grim memories of the perils of post-election violence, with a disputed 2007 poll sparking politically-motivated tribal clashes that left some 1,100 dead.