Kenya plunged into chaos as violent protests erupt over soaring cost of living

Kenya has been thrown into turmoil as opposition protesters clashed with police in several parts of the country on Wednesday.

The demonstrations were sparked by the rising cost of living and tax hikes, which have left many Kenyans struggling to make ends meet.

Local media reported that five people were injured in Nakuru town in the Rift Valley region, with four sustaining gunshot wounds. Two others were shot and injured in Makueni in the east. Earlier, three people were taken to hospital in Migori in the west after being injured during the protests.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga urged his supporters to end the protests at 17:00 local time and resume on Thursday. Mr Odinga told the local Daily Nation newspaper website that the first day of a series of cost-of-living protests had been a success.

In Nairobi’s city centre and in other key towns, businesses remained shut and people stayed away for fear of getting caught in the protests.

The violent clashes between the police and demonstrators have been condemned by both sides.

The opposition Azimio coalition says some of their leaders and close allies, including some MPs and local area representatives, have been arrested, with deputy leader Martha Karua condemning their “arrest without lawful justification”.

President William Ruto, meanwhile, denounced the chaos and hooliganism during the protests and urged the opposition to find amicable ways to address their concerns.

The protests highlight the growing public anger over the rising cost of living in Kenya, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s tax hikes.

The opposition has accused the government of mismanaging the economy and failing to address the needs of ordinary Kenyans.

The situation in Kenya is worrying, and there are fears that the violence could escalate further. The government must take steps to address the concerns of the opposition and the public and find a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

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