Violence rocks Kisumu and Homa Bay – PHOTOS

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By SILAS APOLLO
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By BARACK ODUOR
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Police have dispersed crowds of youths who staged protests in Kisumu and Homa Bay over alleged electoral fraud in favour of President Kenyatta.

In Homa Bay, the protesters barricaded major roads in the lakeside town, paralysing transport.

They also lit bonfires in the streets to express their anger in what they termed as a “rigged election”.

In Kisumu, a majority of businesses remained closed as protests rocked parts of the town in agitation against alleged rigging of the presidential poll.

Residents opted to stay away from the Central Business District, with the police shooting in the air to disperse irate youths.

The demonstrators also lit tyres on roads leading to informal settlements of Manyatta, Obunga and carwash estate.

Some of the affected businesses were major supermarkets, banks, markets, eateries, schools and small-scale businesses, which closed down out of fear of attacks and looting.

This came even as Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma rejected the governorship results, which had indicated that he was trailing his main rival Anyang’ Nyong’o.

Police take charge after dispersing the youths.

Police take charge after dispersing the youths. PHOTO | OGEGA ONDARI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Ranguma said he had petitioned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on the matter. “I already have the evidence, which I have given to the IEBC,” said Mr Ranguma.

There were bonfires lit at the Kondele roundabout, forcing vehicles plying the Kisumu-Kakamega road to use alternative routes.

Some of the feeder roads within the town were also barricaded by the youths.

A majority of the streets within the CBD were also deserted.

Police patrol the streets of Kisumu after

Police patrol the streets of Kisumu after restoring calm on August 9, 2017. PHOTO | OGEGA ONDARI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kisumu Hotel Managers Association Chairman Robinson Anyal said a number of hotels in the region had recorded low bookings.

“The election season has been our low-peak season. This we believe is because a majority of clients went back to the rural homes to vote,” said Mr Anyal.

Western Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Benard Kitoto said the elections had affected business since residents who form the bulk of buyers were now cautious on their spending.

He said traders had reported low sales as residents are only making essential purchases.

“We are feeling the pinch and businesses are unable to meet targets unlike the same time last year. The elections is having a spiral effect on businesses,” said Mr Kitoto.

A police officer fires teargas at the

A police officer fires teargas at the protesting youths in Kisumu on August 9, 2017. PHOTO | OGEGA ONDARI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Justus Kotieno, a taxi driver, said business was at all-time low with the number of clients drastically reduced after the elections.

He said his colleagues, had also reported poor sales.

“It’s been quite a bad day. Our business has been on an all-time low,” said Mr Kotieno.

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