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Monday, October 16th, 2017

 

Mchinji human trafficker gets 116-year jail terms; but to serve 12 years

MCHINJI-(MaraviPost) – The Malawi Magistrate Court in the border district of Mchinji this week convicted and sentenced a 44-year-old man to 116 years imprisonment with hard labour on human trafficking charges.

The convict, identified as Stanley Matiya, will however, only spend 12 years in jail.

According to Mchinji police deputy publicist, Rome Chauluka, said the convict Matiya was answering eight counts of trafficking in persons, contrary to Section 14(1), and three counts for trafficking young children, contrary to Section 15(1) of the Trafficking in Persons Act, for trafficking 11 people from Lilongwe to Mozambique.

Chauluka explained that the Court sentenced Matiya to 10 years imprisonment for each count of trafficking in persons, and 12 years imprisonment for each count of trafficking in children, and the sentences are to run concurrently.

The victims included eight adults and three young children, who were being moved from Lilongwe to Mozambique for casual labour in tobacco farms.

The police publicist added that the Court heard from police prosecutor Dave Kusamale that Matiya, who resides in Mozambique, together with suspected accomplice Jentala Kamwendo, were found moving the victims on September 28 this year.

The victims were from the villages under traditional authorities Mazengera and Kalumbu in Lilongwe.

Chauluka said the First Grade Magistrate Rodwell Meja Phiri agreed with the State that the convict deserved a custodial sentence to deter other would-be offenders

“Upon conviction, Kusamale told the Court that, despite the convict being a first offender, an immediate custodial sentence would be appropriate as the offences committed are serious in nature.

“The prosecutor further told the Court  that the convict took advantage of the financial misfortunes of the victims, hence planned to commit the offence; and the victims were subjected to starvation since they were left without food and left in the hot sun,” Chauluka said.

Matiya hails from Siniya Village, Traditional Authority (T.A) Mazengera, in Lilongwe while his accomplice Kamwendo, and is still at large.

The Trafficking in Persons Act prescribes a maximum punishment of 14 years imprisonment and 21 years imprisonment if one is found guilty of the offences of trafficking in persons and children, respectively.

Meanwhile, coordinator for Malawi Network against Trafficking in Persons (MNAT) Maxwell Matewere, called for stiffer punishment as a 12-year sentence is lenient.

Matewere said considering that the case involved three minors, whose trafficking attracts the maximum sentence of up to 21 years, the Court should have gone for the maximum sentence.

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Malawi celebrates Mothers Day; Mutharika urges Malawians to respect mothers

President Peter Mutharika on Sunday urged Malawians to respect mothers and observe the role they play in society and the country as a whole.

According to a press statement signed by Presidential Press Secretary and Spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani, mothers are doing a commendable job in the country.

The call comes as Malawi celebrates Mother’s Day and World Rural Women’s Day.

Reads the statement in part: “Mothers are the pillars of society as they build families and nurture children to become productive citizens, hence it is worthwhile celebrating their roles in society.”

As the country is celebrating the day, Mutharika further asked Malawians to reflect and recognise the role that women play in uplifting the status of each and every society.

“This day is an important occasion for Malawi. More than 80 percent of our population lives in the rural areas and a larger section of that population is women. These are the women who till our land, feed the nation and send millions of children to school.The World Rural Women’s Day and Mother’s Day offer us an immense opportunity to reflect, recognise, and appreciate the role women play in developing this nation,” added the statement.

The World Rural Women’s Day was launched in 1995 during the 4th United Nations (UN) Assembly on Women in Beijing, China

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Liberian former football legend ‘George Weah’ and VEEP ‘Joseph Boakai’ to face each other in presidential run-off

George WeahIN 1995 George Weah became the first – and to date only – African to win the highest individual award there is in world football: The Ballon d’Or.

Liberia’s Electoral Commission on Sunday, announced that former football legend, George Weah and incumbent Vice-President, Joseph Boakai, will face each other in a run-off vote for the presidency in November, this year.

National Elections Commission chairman, Jerome Korkoya, told journalists that 1,550,923 votes had been counted and the turnout was at 74.52%.

Weah received 39.0% of the votes and Boakai 29.1%.

This left both candidates well short of the 50% mark required to be declared outright winner, from the first round of voting held on Tuesday.

Three other candidates took a significant share of the votes, with veteran opposition leader, Charles Brumskine, at 9.8%; former Coca-Cola executive, Alexander Cummings, at 7.1%; and former-warlord-turned-preacher, Prince Johnson, at 7.0%.

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Nasa cancels Tuesday anti-IEBC demos

By NATION REPORTER
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The National Super Alliance (Nasa) has called off the demonstrations against the electoral commission scheduled for Tuesday.

In a statement, Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango said they will take the day off to condole with supporters who were injured by police during the Monday protests.

“This is a temporary step to enable the coalition to attend to the supporters who were brutalized and hurt and families that lost loved ones today (Monday) after police and State-protected goons descended on protesters and Nasa leaders,” the statement read.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o will the victims.

But the nationwide demonstrations will resume on Wednesday.

The coalition has condemned police for using excessive force in quelling protesters.

In the Monday protest in Kisumu, a student was shot dead.


End slaughter in Somalia

By EDITORIAL
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The massive suicide truck bomb that killed nearly 200 people in Mogadishu is a grim reminder of the challenge of restoring peace and stability in Somalia.

This initiative fronted by the African Union and sponsored by the United Nations has made some headway, but more needs to be done.

Mogadishu, which has not known any peace for several decades, other towns and even the rural areas, live under the perpetual terror threat from Al-Shabaab.

This bloody conflict could but should never dampen the spirits of the Somalis and well-wishers who would like to see normality return to the country.

Whatever grievances the armed groups may have cannot justify the slaughter of innocents. 

The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) is the most solid confirmation that fellow Africans care about the plight of Somalis and are willing to help end the slaughter of innocents.

STABILITY
Uganda, Kenya and Burundi have in the spirit of eastern African solidarity contributed troops to help stabilise Somalia.

But they have often been paid back for the sacrifice with bloody attacks.

Whatever the challenges, a strong message must go out to the killers that the AU is in this for the long haul.

The best the neighbours can do is to help strengthen the leadership in Mogadishu.

Its success is the best way to warn the warlords that their devious designs will be defeated.


Swoops at Jimi Wanjigi’s homes add twist to his political story

By JOHN KAMAU
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When police raided city billionaire Jimi Wanjigi’s homes in Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi on Monday, it was a sign of how far the wheeler-dealer has fallen from the top echelons of power into the center of a political storm.

The Muthaiga, in Nairobi, raid came hours after police ransacked a villa in Malindi and confiscated five AK-47 rifles and 93 rounds of ammunition.

While some of the arrested workers alleged they were employees of Mr Wanjigi — an allegation we could not independently verify — police said the house on Ngowa Road at Mtangani, belongs to two Italians: Mr Franco Fantani and Mr Giovanni Ferliga.

NASA
Mr Wanjigi, a tenderpreneur of presidents Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, and the early years of the Uhuru regimes, is credited with being a key financier of Mr Raila Odinga’s Nasa and having played a key role in its campaigns as the funds mobiliser.

The raid came on a day Nasa leaders announced that they would start a nationwide series of rallies starting Tuesday, to mobilise their supporters not to participate in the October 26 presidential election.

It also came as Nasa accelerated its push to stop the poll unless there are electoral reforms.

JUBILEE
A well-known Mr Fix-it, Mr Wanjigi was once untouchable, thanks to his past links to the security apparatus and senior politicians, including the late former Vice President George Saitoti.

He is also believed to have brokered the deal between Mr Uhuru Kenyatta (TNA) and Mr William Ruto (URP) and the formation of the Jubilee administration.

He later fell out with both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto — over what his friends say was the standard gauge railway tender, which the government decided to give to the Chinese Government and not to the companies lined up by Mr Wanjigi’s Tyl Limited.

A man who lives like a king at his 44 Muthaiga Road house, which is lined with splendid palm trees, signs of opulence and modern security system, Mr Wanjigi has of late been living under fear after he became the subject of attack by Jubilee politicians annoyed with his dalliance with the opposition.

SECURITY
So frightened is the billionaire that on September 10, he drove to Gigiri Police Station and reported that his life was in danger.

He later wrote to the Inspector-General asking police to provide him with security at his own cost.

His father, former Moi Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi was seen entering his son’s home, where journalists were kept out.

Others who went in were former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, and Nasa lawmakers James Orengo and Junet Mohammed, a sign that this raid is going to take a political angle.

Police sources also said they intended to raid another house in Nyali, Mombasa.

FUTURE
For years, Mr Wanjigi was the most feared businessman, with a reputation to rival that of legendary barons.

His hold on multi-billion government contracts and cutting deals with Chinese infrastructure companies was well known and was highlighted in a recent investigative series by the Nation.

The question that many political observers are asking is what next for the billionaire who is Nasa’s Mr Moneybags and whose closeness to Mr Odinga is now well known.

During the campaigns, Mr Wanjigi was a regular guest at Mr Odinga’s Karen home.

CORRUPTION

He sat with family members during the presidential debate, and was present during the launch of the Nasa manifesto.

He also hosted a small party secretariat at his up-market Caramel Restaurant at ABC Westlands, where he had hoped that the victory party would be held.

Why Mr Odinga embraced a man who was going to injure the anti-corruption agenda of his fourth bid on the presidency might not be known soon — but Nasa insiders admit that Mr Wanjigi’s wad of notes did the magic.

During the campaigns, Nasa dared Jubilee to arrest Mr Wanjigi if indeed he had committed any crime.

ANGLO-LEASING
A man who made his billions through government supply and as a wheeler-dealer, getting a 10 per cent cut from the multi-billion tenders that he fronted for various Chinese companies, Mr Wanjigi opened his vault to the party, hoping to have a say in the Nasa government in case of an Odinga victory.

Jubilee mandarins took advantage of Mr Wanjigi’s presence in Nasa and dismissed its campaign as being funded by “corruption cartels” — a reference to Mr Wanjigi who prominently featured in the Anglo-Leasing scandals during the Mwai Kibaki presidency, though was never convicted of any crime.

Whether the raid on Mr Wanjigi’s house is related to this past politics is not clear – and the guns found in the Malindi villa adds another twist to the political story.

That Mr Wanjigi was the other principal in the Nasa line-up was known by the strings that he pulled within the outfit.

TALLYING CENTRE

He was alleged to have his own manifesto, which had created tension within the Secretariat, and which Mr Odinga was at pains to defend after one of his advisers, David Ndii, dismissed it as the work of tenderpreneurs.

Mr Wanjigi’s story is that of a rich man who plays Kenyan politicians like pawns in a chess game and who was the super-glue that maintained the rapport between Uhuru and Ruto and later on between Mr Odinga, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, and former Cabinet ministers Moses Wetang’ula and Musalia Mudavadi.

An IT man, Mr Wanjigi was the brain behind the setting up of the Nasa tallying centre in Nairobi’s Westlands’ suburb and which was brought down by hooded gunmen – Nasa says by police – before the voting commenced leaving the party without any place to coordinate the tallying of the numbers from the constituencies.

EXPERTS
Although Siaya Senator James Orengo had said that this was one of its smaller tallying centres, details later emerged that the same gunmen raided two other secret locations and carted away more computers.

The tallying centres were to be manned by an American John Phillips, chief executive of political consultancy Aristotle, and Canadian Andreas Katsouris, a senior executive at the firm.

They were to be joined by two Ghanaians among them Mr Peter Mac Manu, touted as one of the best brains when it comes to election results tabulation and his research assistant and activist, Evans Nimako – a man who had taken Ghana’s electoral commission to court demanding that it cleans-up voters register while acting on behalf of the now President Nana Akufo-Addo, but then an opposition politician.

During Ghana’s election, it was Mac Manu – who was President Akifo-Addo’s campaign manager –who declared results in his favour even before the Electoral Commission did the same and was the man who had set up a parallel vote tabulation system Ghana.

He had hoped to replicate the same tallying in Kenya and train the Nasa coalition personnel on the parallel collation of results to avoid rigging as then opposition NPP in Ghana did to thwart the rigging ploy of National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Whether the raid on Mr Wanjigi’s house is related to this past politics is not clear – and the guns found in the Malindi villa adds another twist to the political story.


Tycoon Jimi Wanjigi's whereabouts still unknown after raid

By CHARLES LWANGA
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By LILLIAN MUTAVI
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Police officers from the General Service Unit have arrived the the home of businessman Jimi Wanjigi where detectives have been camping since 10am.

Police on Monday morning raided three palatial residences of tender billionaire and said they had found five AK assault rifles and ammunition in one of them.

Officers from the Special Crime Unit entered Mr Wanjigi’s houses in Mombasa’s upmarket Nyali estate, a 22-bedroom villa believed to be his in Malindi, and his opulent residence in Nairobi’s Muthaiga estate.

TENDERS
National Super Alliance leaders, among them Mr Raila Odinga, MPs and senators rushed to Mr Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home, where he was believed to be holed up.

Mr Wanjigi is a key financier and strategist for Nasa, after falling out with Jubilee whom he supported in 2013.

He is a controversial and secretive individual who was associated with the Anglo Leasing scandal and has raked in billions of shillings through tenders in the former Government of National Unity.

FIREARMS
Police sources said a combined team of detectives from Nairobi and Mombasa stormed the businessman’s residence in Nyali, conducted a search and left.

It could not be established if they took anything away.

In Malindi, police are investigating four people arrested in a house said to belong to two Italians, where five guns, 93 rounds of ammunition and a wildlife trophy were seized.

Workers said the house is owned by Mr Wanjigi but rented out to the two Italians.

SUSPECTS
Malindi police boss Matawa Muchangi said police got a tip-off before raiding the house belonging to Mr Franco Fantani and Mr Giovanni Ferliga on Ngowa road, off the Malindi-Lamu road at Mtangani, on Sunday night.

Speaking to the press, Mr Muchangi said the housekeepers and security guards thought to be employees in the house were arrested on Monday morning while reporting for duty.

“The four suspects were also arrested at the house and have been taken for interrogation to help us in investigation,” he said, adding that a tortoise shell was also found.

One of the security guards, who declined to be named for security reasons, told Nation that he has been seeing luxury cars entering the premises but he has never identified the persons in them.

OWNER
Mr Muchangi, who also paraded the suspects before the press, said police were investigating the real owner of the house, after the suspects claimed they were employed by Mr Wanjigi.

“The issue of ownership is subject to investigation but prior investigations have established that the house belongs to two Italians,” he said, adding that “we are yet to establish if the owners had sold the house to another person”.

Mr Stephen Mulewa, one of the suspects who spoke to the press under the watch of the police, said he was employed by Mr Wanjigi and he was arrested on Monday morning after reporting work.

“I arrived at the house in the morning and I noticed something unusual after seeing policemen surrounding the premises only to be told that firearms had been recovered there,” he said.

TERROR
Mr Mulewa, who was prevented by police from revealing more information, said he knew nothing of the firearms found in one of the stores despite having worked at the house for long.

Mr Muchangi said police were investigating if the firearms are linked to terror attacks.

“The firearms that have been recovered are in a serviceable state and we are establishing if they were used for terror attacks,” he said and urged the public to help police with information that could lead to the arrest of more suspects.

Mr Muchangi said police received reports of “suspicious activities” going on in the house .

NASA
In Nairobi, the raid started at 10am and by 6pm the officers, who barred journalists from entering the compound, were still inside.

Speaking to the press at Mr Wanjigi’’s house, Siaya Senator James Orengo said the police were there to arrest Mr Wanjigi but had not found him at home.

“We understand that the search is related to a raid that took place in Malindi where some guns were found, unfortunately the police are unable to confirm that the house belongs to Mr Wanjigi,” Mr Orengo said.

He said the raid had been planned to happen on Friday last week since some of the media houses had been alerted, adding that he suspected the guns were planted, since nobody in their right mind would keep guns in an open store.

ARREST WARRANT
Mr Orengo said the most appropriate thing was to first get the owner of the building, get a proper warrant and make an inventory before raiding the house.

Mr Orengo said they were only able to meet Mr Wanjigi’s father, former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi and his wife, but they were not allowed inside the house to confirm if the younger Wanjigi was in.

He also accused the police of conducting an illegal operation instead of obtaining a proper search warrant.

The raid was carried out, Mr Orengo claimed, because Mr Wanjigi is associated with the opposition and was meant to distract them from the ongoing preparations for an election.

“The police broke into the compound. The illegal activity was undertaken because he is associated with Nasa,” Mr Orengo said, adding that they will not sit and watch Mr Wanjigi get prosecuted over illegal firearms yet investigations had not followed the due process.


Raila has choice to stay away or take part in poll: IEBC

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
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By PATRICK LANG’AT
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It is up to Nasa leader Raila Odinga to choose whether to participate in next Thursday’s repeat presidential election or not, the polls agency has said.

Dr Roselyn Akombe, a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), said it is a personal decision for any candidate to participate or pull out of an election.

“The issue about Mr Odinga’s withdrawal from the repeat poll cannot be solved by the electoral commission,” she said.

“It would be impossible for us to solve the political mess created by the politicians. We can only offer technical solutions and not political ones.”

IMPACT
She added that the withdrawal from the race is “purely a political issue” that can only be solved by politicians.

Dr Akombe urged the politicians to engage in dialogue in solving the political stalemate, instead of dragging the name of the IEBC into their issues.

She spoke on Sunday at a hotel in Bondo town after assessing the progress of the ongoing training of IEBC staff ahead of the repeat poll.

At the same time, a local poll observation group has asked the IEBC to seek the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Mr Odinga’s withdrawal from the presidential race.

POLL CONTENDERS
The Elections Observation Group (Elog) said the IEBC should take the first step in clearing uncertainties after Mr Odinga pulled out of the election and demanded a new election 90 days after fresh nominations.

At the same time, the group wants the IEBC to ask the Supreme Court to give its view on a High Court ruling in a case filed by Thirdway Alliance candidate Ekuru Aukot, which the commission has interpreted to mean the inclusion of all the eight candidates who vied in the August 8 presidential election that was eventually nullified.

“Amid the emerging constitutional and legal confusion, the IEBC should at once petition the courts to give meaning, clarity and certainty to a myriad of legal intricacies that now surround the holding of the fresh presidential election,” Elog steering committee chairperson Regina Opondo said in a statement.

ELECTION LAWS
The group also called for an inclusive engagement between the IEBC and the political actors.

The team asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to shelve proposed changes to the election laws that were passed by Jubilee Party members in Parliament.

“Don’t change laws very close to the election,” Elog national coordinator Mule Musau said.

President Kenyatta has said he is still going through the laws with his deputy William Ruto.


Uhuru asks Raila not to block Kenyans from voting

By ABDIMALIK HAJIR
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By KITAVI MUTUA
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed the mass protests by opposition leaders, saying no candidate should be allowed to dictate the terms of participating in an election.

The President and his deputy William Ruto, who campaigned in Garissa, Kitui and Machakos counties, asked residents to come out in large numbers on October 26 to vote and re-elect him for a second term while urging them to ignore the calls by Nasa to boycott the poll.

They said the Nasa leader was hiding behind mass protests for fear of defeat and sought to scuttle the repeat presidential election.

“If you are not ready to participate in this election, nobody is forcing you to.

“Just stay at home and don’t bother Kenyans who want to exercise their democratic right,” the President told Nasa leader Raila Odinga, adding that he (Mr Odinga) was the one who went to the Supreme Court to have the August 8 presidential election nullified.

NASA DEMANDS
The two, who spoke at Garissa Primary School at Zombe in Kitui and Masii in Machakos, condemned the demonstrations by Nasa that have mostly turned violent.

President Kenyatta said Kenyans had a constitutional right to participate in an election and he should respect the verdict of the Supreme Court that ordered repeat presidential poll to be conducted within 60 days.

The President said one disgruntled player in a match cannot dictate to the referee, saying Mr Odinga’s demands on the electoral agency will not be allowed to deny Kenyans a chance to choose their leaders through the ballot.

President Kenyatta told Mr Odinga to “stop wasting time on fruitless street demonstrations” and instead seek votes from the electorate.

“The Opposition is free not to participate in the fresh October 26 election but they should not prevent those who want to exercise their democratic right of choosing their leader from doing so,” he said.

DEVELOPMENT
Mr Kenyatta termed comments attributed to Siaya Senator James Orengo that Nasa will conduct their own poll a sign that the Opposition was consistent in efforts to derail the election.

He urged the communities in Ukambani region to turn out in large numbers and double the votes they gave him on August 8, so that the country can continue on the path of growth.

The President assured Kenyans that his focus will remain trained on implementing policies and projects that will continue lifting the lives of all Kenyans.

He cited construction of roads, expansion of electricity connection to households, improving health and education as key platforms of his development agenda that would be interfered with if the Opposition has its way.

KALONZO
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto hosted Kamba leaders and residents at Zombe public park as part of the homecoming ceremony for Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai who was elected on a Jubilee Party ticket.

Mr Kenyatta said firm action would be taken against those who choose to loot or vandalise property, and rob or injure innocent Kenyans under the guise of demonstrations.

Mr Ruto asked Mr Odinga to wait and prepare to face him in the 2022 presidential election if he is not ready for this month’s fresh election.

He claimed that Jubilee was right in its assertion that Nasa co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka was misplaced in the opposition coalition as “Mr Odinga has already started scheming for 2022 elections”.

The DP said this was proof that Mr Musyoka will not be endorsed by the former Prime Minister in 2022.

Additional reporting by Stephen Muthini


Death, business interruption grace opposition protests

By NATION TEAM
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A Form Four student became the latest victim of clashes between opposition protesters and the police in Kisumu after he was shot dead during Monday’s demonstrations against the electoral commission.

In Mombasa, at least three people were arrested as police used tear gas to disperse the National Super Alliance (Nasa) supporters who were demonstrating against the poll agency despite a government ban.

In Kisumu, the student, according to his tearful mother, Ms Caroline Okello, had been at home because of a Sh10,000 fee balance, only to be felled by a bullet when he went to buy ice cream across the road.

“I had left him in the house after we had breakfast. I warned him not to leave because there were protests in the area,” Ms Okello told reporters.

“At about 1 or 2pm, someone called to inform me that my son had been shot. He was dead.”

BULLET
The 18-year-old identified as Michael Okello was shot from the back.

He died instantly and the body was taken to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital mortuary.

Residents claimed police took out a bullet from his neck shortly after they shot him.

Kisumu police boss Titus Yoma could not confirm if the student had died from a police bullet because the body was taken to the mortuary by residents.

LOOTING
It was the latest blot on the protests, which had begun peacefully and were led, initially, by Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, his deputy Mathews Owili and Speaker Onyango Oloo.

The group defied orders by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and accessed the town centre as the daily anti-IEBC demos called by Nasa kicked off Monday.

Shops remained closed and roads blocked for the better part of the day for fear of looting and destruction of property.

“We are aware that some Jubilee officials met some local people in one of the hotels in a move to buy their identity cards,” Prof Nyong’o said while addressing the demonstrators at the IEBC offices in Milimani.

ARRESTS
In Mombasa, three people were arrested on Moi Avenue as police dispersed demonstrators.

They were bundled into police vehicles patrolling the CBD.

Mombasa Urban police boss Lucas Ogara said those arrested had tried to cause a commotion in the town.

“I am yet to know the exact number of those arrested as we have different groups of officers dealing with the protesters,” Mr Ogara said on phone.

Earlier in the morning, police clashed with Nasa supporters on Moi Avenue and used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

JOURNALISTS
The handful group of supporters led by Mombasa deputy governor William Kingi and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir scampered for safety.

Police did not spare journalists covering the demo whom they also tear-gassed.

A tear gas canister was thrown into a pick-up the press team was using.

Business on the busy road was disrupted as traders closed their shops.

BUSINESS
The protesters seemed to have been energised by Sunday’s rally in the town addressed by Nasa leader Raila Odinga.

During the rally, Mr Odinga and his co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula called for the scaling up of demos in the tourist town.

In Homa Bay, businesses remained closed as protesters blocked main roads in the town, paralysing, transport and other operations.

Unlike in the past, police watched from a distance as protesters took to the streets.

The residents have vowed to continue protesting until some IEBC officials, such as the CEO Ezra Chiloba, whom they accuse of mismanaging the August elections resign.

“We want the protesters to demonstrate peacefully without provoking the police or exhibiting acts of lawlessness,” local police boss Marius Tum said.

COUNTY ASSEMBLY
In Siaya, where two people were killed last week, protesters led by county Speaker George Okode and a section of MCAs demonstrated in the town’s streets before converging at the county commissioner’s office to present their petition.

“We have adjourned the assembly until further notice and we’ll resume sittings once reforms at the electoral body are done.

“We plan to take part in demonstrations in all the six sub-counties. We have started with Alego/Usonga then proceed to Ugunja, Ugenya, Bondo and Rarieda,” Mr Okode said.

POLICE
In Kakamega, former Senator Boni Khalwale and Lurambi MP Titus Khamala defied the heavy security presence in the town and led a group of opposition supporters in anti-IEBC protests.

Dr Khalwale showed up at 2.30pm in the company of supporters waving the “No Reforms, No Election” banners after hopes of the protests taking place were fading away.

Police in anti-riot gear escorted the protesters to the IEBC offices to hand in their petition to the county returning officer, Ms Grace Rono.

Reports by Rushdie Oudia, Victor Raballa, Victor Otieno, Nelcon Odhiambo, Barack Oduor, Elisha Otieno, Mohamed Ahmed, Diana Mutheu and Benson Amadala