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Anti-government protesters mark Saba Saba

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Saba Saba, marked on the seventh day of the seventh month every year, is a commemoration of the day in 1990 when pro-democracy demonstrations took place across the country in a call for multi-party politics during the regime of President Daniel Arap Moi.

Kenyan protesters rejecting the Kenya Kwanza government of President William Ruto are planning several events on Saba Saba Day in their push for his resignation and reforms to ensure an end to vices such as systemic corruption.

Saba Saba, marked on the seventh day of the seventh month every year, is a commemoration of the day in 1990 when pro-democracy demonstrations took place across the country in a call for multi-party politics during the regime of President Daniel Arap Moi. Moi, of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), served as the second president, from 1978 to 2002.

Thirty-four years later, the youth of Kenya are leading a revolution that started with a campaign against the Finance Bill of 2024 and the new taxes it proposed, which the public vehemently opposed at a time when the cost of living is high and many are struggling with a government under whose watch massive corruption has taken place, while basics such as education, food security, health, and transport, have suffered.

A key event marking this year's Saba Saba is the #SabaSabaMarchForOurLives.

Here are updates, as events unfold:

5:30 pm: Busia County Senator and activist, Okiya Omtatah, was welcomed at Uhuru Park where thousands of youths are honouring their fellow youths who were killed during the anti-finance protest.

5:00 pm: More youth continue to stream in at Uhuru Park, Nairobi for the memorial concert. They vow to continue to fight for their rights and a better Kenya.

Thousands gather at Uhuru Park for the memorial concert for those killed during protests. (Photo: Justine Ondieki)

4:45 pm: Kenyans who turned out for the #ShujaazMemorialConcert at Uhuru Park, ended the moment of silence in tears as they were paying tribute to the fallen heroes during the #SabaSabaMarchForOurLives commemorations, honoring youths who died during the anti-Finance Bill protests.

4:30 pm: Nameless, Mr . Lenny, Gigi Gigi and Sanaipei Tande took the stage to perform to the crowd, with each one paying tribute to those who perished. Nameless in his tribute said Kenya had changed for the better.

Namelessand and Mr . Lenny performing live at shujaaz memorial concert at uhuru park

4:00 pm: Singer Sanaipei Tande performed her song "Amina" at the #ShujaazMemorialConcert at Uhuru Park, where hundreds of Kenyans gathered for the memorial concern, dubbed Shujaaz Memorial concert, to honour the youths who died during the anti-Finance Bill protests.

3.15 pm: Concert begins.

Nairobians attend the Shujaaz Memorial Concert in honour of casualties of anti-government protests. (Photo: Justine Ondieki/EV)

 

2.47 pm: Members of the public attending the Shujaaz Memorial Concert erect crosses for each individual, including those missing following abductions.

Crosses for each individual harmed during anti-tax protests, including those missing following abductions, are pictured at Uhuru Park in Nairobi ahead of the Mashujaaz Memorial Concert on July 7, 2024. (Photo: Hasfa Hassan/EV)

Crosses for each individual harmed during anti-tax protests, including those missing following abductions, are pictured at Uhuru Park in Nairobi ahead of the Mashujaaz Memorial Concert on July 7, 2024. (Photo: Hasfa Hassan/EV)

2.02 pm: The crowd gathered at Uhuru Park for the memorial concert continues to grow, with those present waving mini Kenyan flags in a show of unity and their drive to fight for freedom and justice.

Members of the public wave the Kenyan flag at Uhuru Park in Nairobi in readiness for the Shujaaz Memorial Concert, in honour of casualties of protests against President William Ruto's government. (Photo: Hafsa Hasan)

Members of the public at Uhuru Park in Nairobi in readiness for the Shujaaz Memorial Concert, in honour of casualties of protests against President William Ruto's government. (Photo: Hafsa Hasan)

1.34 pm: It is confirmed that more than 20 artists will perform at the Uhuru Park concert and commemorate Saba Saba Day via the march. 

1.09 pm: Kisumu Deputy Governor Mathew Owili likens the youth's efforts to the Saba Saba movement's pursuit of change, praising them for pursing justice and freedom.

12.52 pm: Preparations for the concert continue with more guests, among them human rights activists, arriving.

11.46 am: As members of the public register for the memorial concert, police are seen stationed at Uhuru Park.

Anti-riot police officers outside Uhuru Park in Nairobi as members of the public register for the Shujaaz Memorial Concert on Saba Saba Day on July 7, 2024. (Photo: Justine Ondieki/EV)

 

Members of the public register for the Shujaaz Memorial Concert at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Saba Saba Day, marked on July 7, 2024. (Photo: Justine Ondieki/EV)

 

Members of the public register for the Shujaaz Memorial Concert at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Saba Saba Day, marked on July 7, 2024. (Photo: Justine Ondieki/EV)

11.40 am: Business as usual in some parts of the Nairobi city centre as plans for the march progress.

11.25 am: Preparations continue at Uhuru Park ahead of the Shujaaz Memorial Concert for victims of the anti-tax protests. The death toll is at least 39, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).

10.00 am: Police officers are pictured at various points in the Nairobi central business district ahead of the #SabaSabaMarchForOurLives.

Some police officers were seen outside Parliament, whose parameters protesters breached on June 25 in a demonstration that turned very destructive and deadly.

Anti-riot police officers stationed outside parliament in the Nairobi CBD on July 7, 2024, ahead of a Saba Saba march by protesters opposed to President William Ruto's administration. (Photo: Justine Ondieki/EV)

Other police officers were seen in trucks at the Kenyatta Avenue and Kimathi Street junction and along City Hall Way.

Anti-riot police officers at the Kenyatta Avenue and Kimathi Street junction in the Nairobi CBD on July 7, 2024, ahead of a Saba Saba march by protesters opposed to President William Ruto's administration. (Photo: Justine Ondieki/EV)

Anti-riot police officers stationed in the Nairobi central business district on July 7, 2024, ahead of a Saba Saba march by protesters opposed to President William Ruto's administration. (Photo: Justine Ondieki/EV)

 

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