A police truck fitted with water cannons, which can spray hot water or acidic chemicals to disperse crowds, has been spotted on Mombasa Road, according to a post shared on the Ma3Route channel on Twitter.
17:54 somewhere on Msa rd. Is it a coincidence that Rao anatangaza mass action and on the same day 4 of these beasts were on the road from Mombasa ? pic.twitter.com/6fyLn1iiHA via @Kelvinmwangombe
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) February 22, 2023
Netizens have speculated that the vehicle’s appearance may be linked to Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga’s recent announcement of a mass action during his Jevanjee prayer meeting.
Many have commented that it is a coincidence that the truck resurfaced on the same day as Odinga’s announcement.
The use of water cannons by police has been a contentious issue in Kenya, with human rights groups alleging that they have been used to injure and even kill protesters. The police have defended their use of the trucks, saying they are necessary to control violent crowds and protect property. However, critics argue that they have been used as a tool to suppress dissent and intimidate protesters.
Odinga’s announcement of mass action has also drawn criticism from some quarters, with some arguing that it is unnecessary and could lead to violence. Others have voiced their support for Odinga’s call to action, saying it is a legitimate form of protest against the government.
Speaking during the opposition’s prayer rally at Jevanjee Gardens in Nairobi on Wednesday, Odinga issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to lower prices of basic commodities and taxes failure to which the opposition will call for mass protests across the country to force the Kenya Kwanza administration to take action.
Raila said high taxes imposed by the Kenya Kwanza administration have seen prices of basic commodities hit the roof.
He also attributed the high cost of living to President William Ruto’s move to remove food and fuel subsidies introduced by his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta to cushion the citizenry.
Raila said the move to withdraw the subsidies in the middle of drought and famine was reckless and heartless and demanded reinstatement within two weeks.
The former Prime Minister also demanded the suspension of the ongoing exercise to recruit electoral commissioners, saying the process is flawed.