Day one of three of Azimio protests in Mombasa

A photo of police after dispersing an anti-maandamano UDA gathering in Mombasa on Wednesday./JOYCE JURA

The scheduled nationwide protests kicked off in Mombasa at around 9 a.m., but not with Azimio protesters but with a group of Mombasa United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leaders who had gathered at Cannon Towers, in Ganjoni.

The group led by UDA Mombasa Coordinators Chair Samir Omar had gathered to protest against the planned Azimio-led Wednesday to Friday #maandamano.

UDA anti-maandamano meeting led by Mombasa UDA Coordinators Chair Samir Omar minutes before the police showed up and dispersed them./JOYCE JURA

Police dispersed the crowd just minutes into the gathering prompting the UDA faction to move their meeting to Tononoka.

“We do not want violence in Mombasa, we want peace. For three days children will not go to school just because of Maandamano, we will not agree,” said Samir.

In Tononoka, police again dispersed the UDA crowd saying that gatherings were not allowed.

“We had informed the police of our meeting, but now they are saying that for the sake of integrity, we cannot gather,” said Samir.

Meanwhile, in Ganjoni’s Express area, along Moi Avenue, it was a cat-and-mouse game between antiriot police and a number of protesters prompting the police to shoot teargas canisters as preemptive measures to ensure there were no maandamanos in the area.

Police were forced to put out a burning tyre that was lit by protesters more than once.