Dozens of protesters were arrested at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium for expressing disgust at Kenyan legislators for receiving large allowances amidst inflation and food shortages that have worsened life for the poor.
Kiss FM’s Caroline Mutoko, Classic 105’s Mwalimu King’ang’i and radio personality Nyambane were whisked away from Nyayo Stadium, where President Mwai Kibaki was due to address the nation.
The organizer of the protest, Mwalimu Mati of Mars Group, was surrounded by a police contingent and driven to the Langata police divisional offices.
People dressed in black T-shirts as a mark of protest were turned away by police officers at the stadium grounds.
Meanwhile, Jamhuri Day celebrations in the port city of Mombasa were drowned by heckling from the crowd. From the North Eastern Provincial headquarters at Garissa, Citizen Radio reports that four youths were arrested for expressing dissatisfaction with Kenyan legislators.
Hours before the national celebrations, the government issued a warning against demonstrations and other forms of political expression during Jamhuri (Independence Day) celebrations.
The journalists and Mwalimu Mati were leading a show of disgust against members of parliament for refusing to pay taxes on their allowances. Kenyan politicians are among the best paid in the world.
The journalists are also angered by a new media law that allows the Kenyan government to raid media outlets and disable broadcast equipment at will. It is beleived that Parliament passed the bill to intimidate the media from speaking out against their hefty perks.
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