After the opposition swore the action would proceed despite a police prohibition, Kenyans were preparing for a new round of anti-government protests on Monday over the high cost of living.
Even though protests a week ago became violent and paralyzed portions of Nairobi, the capital, Raila Odinga, a seasoned opposition leader, has urged people to hit the streets every Monday and Thursday.
But, authorities made their prohibition on the rallies public on Sunday.
Japhet Koome, the inspector general of police, told reporters, “We will not permit violent demonstrations.”
“The demonstrations they have planned for tomorrow (Monday) are unlawful and won’t be permitted.”
During the clashes the previous Monday, a university student was killed by police fire and 31 officers were hurt as running battles broke out between riot police and protesters in Nairobi and opposition strongholds in western Kenya.
At the same time as protesters—including Odinga’s personal convoy—were being attacked with tear gas and water cannons, more than 200 individuals were arrested, including some prominent opposition lawmakers.
Since President William Ruto assumed office more than six months ago after defeating Odinga in an election his challenger alleges was “stolen,” it was the first such outbreak of political upheaval.
Notwithstanding the police order, Odinga urged Kenyans to participate in what he called “the mother of all demonstrations” on Sunday.