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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 20:51 GMT
Your experiences: Kenya marches
Armed policeman stands guard as supporters of the opposition rally in Kisumu, Kenya

Kenyans describe the situation on the first of three days of mass protests by the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) against December elections it says were rigged.

PHILEMON ORONDO, CONSULTANT, 30, MBITA POINT, NYANZA

Sadly seven people were shot here in Mbita and three of them have since died.

It started at a centre called Luanda. There were groups of youth members and they wanted to come to Mbita Point.

As they grouped, police officers were passing by and although the youths were shouting I can tell you that they were not being provocative.

But the police then started shooting into the air.

Everyone began running away for their safety.

And then the police started shooting directly at them.

The police here keep using live bullets. We are wondering why they do this here while in the rest of the country they use live bullets sparingly.

We are all citizens of Kenya and we should all be treated equally.

I want to condemn the act of killing citizens who are demonstrating peacefully.

CHEM KIPKORIR, FUND MANAGEMENT WORKER, 31, NAIROBI

I wasn't protesting but I saw everything.

I work on the 12th floor of a 20-storey building and so we have a pretty good view from our office.

I witnessed the police lobbing tear gas on the main road, Kenyatta Avenue, and also on River Road.

By this afternoon, the city was completely empty and public service vehicles were absent. There were absolutely no taxis around and no vehicles were being permitted into the city centre.

A friend gave me a ride home so I was lucky because the taxis were refusing to take me to the area where I live.

NICK, STUDENT, 24, KIBERA, NAIROBI

We woke up early, around 0500 local time, to find ourselves surrounded by policemen.

It was as if [the police] were anticipating trouble but actually most people - everyone that I know - were not even planning to protest... we are sick of the chaos and anyway Kibera is basically empty as everything was burnt to the ground. Most residents are still yet to return.

Kisumu, western Kenya
The situation was tense in Kisumu, western Kenya

The area where I stay was surrounded with armed police. They were brandishing their guns at us.

And as the morning passed by, the tension got worse and worse.

Things were normal until noon.

We had been forced by the police to spend our time, since waking, inside our houses. No-one could even visit the shops.

The tensions started brewing when some residents were having to ask permission to go and collect water. People were thirsty.

But the police kept refusing and so we could not have it anymore.

Everyone said they had had enough.

It all blew-off. The police were pushing us youths.

An argument ensued and then as if this is what the cops were waiting for, they fired tear-gas canisters into our area.

I saw young children, some not even school age being tear-gassed, women being shoved. I saw the brutality of the army.

They fired shots and so we all started running. As if it was just natural, people started running in different directions.

They didn't follow us.

Once the tear gas had lifted, I returned to my house.

I am staying here in my house now.

The police are still around but they have moved slightly out of my area of Kibera.

EVANS, NAIROBI

For me, today, it's been business as usual.

I could never go and demonstrate and spoil property so as to fulfil someone's ego.

SYMON PHARES, STUDENT, 24, HOMA BAY, WESTERN KENYA

I protested today and I am going to do so again tomorrow and again on Friday. I hope that the next two days are peaceful like it was today.

Unlike other towns where protesters were dispersed by police, we were allowed to demonstrate peacefully after assuring the district commissioner and the police that their planned demonstration would be peaceful.

Thousands of us thronged the major streets carrying placards, portraits of the opposition leader Raila Odinga.

We also carried small tree branches in a sign of peace.

We went round the town chanting anti-government slogans while the police watched us.

The only other thing they stopped us from doing was to take our rally into the smaller streets of the town.

I want to commend the district commissioner for understanding the people's call for peaceful demonstration.

FRED OWUOTH, ELDORET, RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE

The protesters were very peaceful before all hell broke loose with the police firing into the crowd.

Then the place became very tense.

We need the demonstrations to continue but we need them to be peaceful and there must be no looting of people's belongings.

STEPHEN, NAKURU, RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE

The heavy presence of police here in Nakuru has kept the protesters at bay.

But I want to know, how do we get our rights over the rigged elections?

The Kenyan law system would ensure the president completes his term if a court petition was to be filed because of the massive delays in the hearing process.


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