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Anti-corruption Protesters Rally in Nairobi


Kenyan protesters took to the streets today in the capital, Nairobi. They shouted slogans about alleged widespread official corruption currently being investigated. Riot police were deployed around the capital, but no major incidents were reported. Three ministers who have been implicated have already resigned. One of them, hris Murungaru, appeared in court today. He is the first former minister to be charged with corruption.

Cathryn Gicheru is a news editor for Kenya’s leading newspaper, the Daily Nation. She told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje today’s demonstration went off peacefully and in an orderly fashion. Gicheru says the demonstrators called on “those implicated with corruption but still in the cabinet to step down and not wait to be sacked.” She says the demonstrators issued an ultimatum to the officials in question that “if they don’t step down out of their own volition, they’re going to collect signatures and petition the president to sack them.”

Police estimate today’s rally at around 2,000 people. Gicheru says the fact only 2,000 people turned out “does not mean that Kenyans are not interested in the corruption issue.” She says most Kenyans support the issues the demonstrators are promoting. But she says “many shy away from rallies, having experienced heavy-handed police action in the past.” Gicheru says the demonstrators have expressed their intentions of carrying their campaign to other parts of the country to ensure the government heeds their message.

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