Kakamega Community Mourns as Gen Z Protest Ends in Tragedy

Kakamega Community Mourns as Gen Z Protest Ends in Tragedy
Protesters in Kakamega

By Jael Sada 

What began as a demonstration of civic dissent swiftly descended into violence, leaving a community reeling and mourning the loss of one of its own.

In Kakamega, a peaceful protest by Gen Z demonstrators turned chaotic as clashes erupted between protesters and police. The situation escalated when unidentified troublemakers within the protest began destroying property and hurling stones at law enforcement, prompting a harsh response of tear gas and live ammunition from the police.

County Executive Commissioner of Health, Bernard Wesonga, reported that seven individuals were injured during the Tuesday protests. Four of them were rushed to Kakamega County Referral Hospital, where they underwent emergency surgeries in critical conditions. Tragically, one of the surgery patients succumbed to their injuries, casting a somber shadow over the day's events.

"In Tuesday's anti-Finance Bill 2024/2025 protests, seven people sustained injuries. Four required immediate surgery, and sadly, one of them passed away post-surgery," Wesonga confirmed.

Three others received medical treatment for their injuries and were discharged the same day. Wesonga explained, "Three individuals, two females, and one male, were treated as outpatients. One female fainted due to tear gas exposure, while the male suffered a cut from a tear gas canister on his right hand. All casualties received prompt and effective treatment from our medical team."

Local authorities, led by Lurambi Member of Parliament Titus Khamala, have called upon President William Ruto to engage with MPs who opposed the finance bill and maintain strong community relations to address the grievances of the Gen Z protesters. 

Khamala emphasized the importance of direct engagement with grassroots youth and cautioned against destructive actions during protests.

"I urge the President to involve MPs who opposed the finance bill and have good rapport with residents in negotiating with the Gen Zs," Khamala stated.

"Leaders should interact directly with the youth at the grassroots level to understand their grievances and avoid unnecessary conflicts."

Reflecting on the aftermath of the tragic events, Kakamega County mourns as it considers life beyond this incident, with thoughts and prayers directed towards the families who lost loved ones and those facing hospital bills for injured relatives.