NYS personnel brought to city streets to help police in patrols
Image: courtesy

In order to help control anticipated anti-government rallies, the National Youth Service Patrol was deployed in large numbers to several areas of Nairobi streets on Wednesday.

Despite being accompanied by armed police, the staff were observed patrolling the streets while carrying batons.

This was a part of measures to send extra police to other areas that were thought to be hotspots.

Such deployments are usually done during election day.

Those patrolling the streets dispersed any group that tried to congregate.

More police officers were sent to informal settlements, major roads and especially the Expressway, which was badly affected in last week’s protests.

Nairobi streets remained deserted and most shops closed business in fear of violence.

Police headquarters deployed teams to monitor the situation across the country.

A team was deployed to the Jogoo House Command Centre to monitor the situation through security cameras. They relayed information to those on the ground.

Other personnel patrolled major highways where there were fears of chaos.

There are fears of fatigue on the side of police if the issue persists for three days as planned and this would lead to lawlessness.

There were no major cases so far reported as of 8 am save for pockets of road blockades that police said happened in parts of informal settlements.

"So far so good. Apart from a few pockets of goons emerging and vanishing, we are fine," said one officer who asked not to be named.

On Tuesday night, a number of casual workers at Sunpak Construction in Athi River blocked roads in Syokimau to protest the lack of payment.

The workers said this was part of their protests against the high cost of living.

Police officers from Syokimau reinforced by those from Mlolongo police station rushed to the scene and dispersed the workers.

Police said as the striking workers were retreating back to their homes, they disrupted traffic flow by blocking a section of Mombasa Road near Gateway Mall with stones.

It took police almost an hour to clear the affected area amid the tension of more protests.

Anti-riot police were deployed to the area on Wednesday morning and were seen patrolling the affected section.

Tension remained high in the area with fears of hooliganism breaking out.