Migori residents have held prayer processions through Migori town to condole with the families of the departed souls during anti-tax demonstrations and give comfort to those who are nursing bullet injuries.

This is a nod to the call by the Azimio leader Raila Odinga, to hold prayer processions and vigils for the victims of police brutality.

The protest-cum prayer day replaced the planned demonstrations which were to continue nationally on Wednesday 26, to continue the push against the high cost of living allegedly championed by the government.

Led by Joseph Olala, Migori County Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) secretary and Pastor Lucas Oriang’, the residents called for peace and national unity for the progress of the nation.

“I believe we are Kenyans, not by choice but by virtue and by right. We, therefore, have all the rights to be protected by the police just like it is in other parts of the country,” said Olala.

Members of the ODM party condemned police brutality on civilians during the demonstrations in Migori County, leading to more than five people being shot by police while others nursing soft tissue injuries.

Olala pointed out that the police failed to observe the laws that hold them to the task of ensuring the security of peaceful demonstrators and guarding property.

He said that as Kenyans, they had the right to picket peacefully and condemn any attempt to implement autocratic policies.

“We are guided by the Constitution of Kenya, which gives the provisions, the circumstances under which one can peacefully picket which should not be a death sentence,” said Olala.

Erick Opany who represented the youth also condemned the killings terming them as heinous acts by the security forces channeled from the topmost government of Kenya.

“As we pray for the victims and hold vigils for the departed souls, I want to state that the killings mostly happened in Nyanza, which makes me believe that this was a targeted operation,” said Opany.

He said that as the youth, they will not sit back and watch the nation go back to the dictatorial era where the government can suggest an idea overnight and make it a policy without public participation.

The same was echoed by Charles Osewe, Migori County Chairperson of Bunge Law Wananchi who condemned how police carried out their operations during the demonstrations.

“We are Kenyans just like the police and we call you out to be guided by the Police service guidelines. Ours was to peacefully criticize the government and warn them against the implementation of the draconian policies,” he said.

He notably pleaded with President Ruto and Raila Odinga to strike a common deal that will ensure an end to the recurrent demonstrations

“We request that President Ruto and Raila Odinga come to sit across the table and chart ways forward for Kenya if that is what it will take to end the demos,” he added.

While representing the clergy, Pastor Lucas Oriang’ of Jesus Miracle Church also called the two leaders to have a dialogue in which, according to him, the church and clergy will be a key ingredient.

“It is in such times that the church should be a key pillar to ensure that such dialogues are driven towards fostering national unity,” he said.

He, however, called upon church leaders to remain non-partisan in politics as that could lead to more divisions.

Sheikh Abdi Fatah noted that the church exists to ensure that there is peace and nourishment that is key towards achieving development.

While representing the Muslims, he advised the government to prioritize the security of those living in places like North Eastern which is fond of banditry.

“Instead of killing the protestors, we request the government to consider the security of North Eastern residents who are in dire need of the security,” he said.

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