Protester Shot Six Times Joined Anti-Finance Bill Protests After Job Hunting Without Success

July 2, 2024

Frank Okoth, a protester who sustained six gunshot wounds last Tuesday during the anti-Finance Bill protests in Nairobi, is still recuperating after a series of life-saving surgeries.

Viral videos showed him gasping for air and being taken into an ambulance, sparking speculations about his death. His name was included in the list of Gen Z protesters allegedly killed during the demonstrations.

Bullets hit Okoth in the chest and abdomen, and he was discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital on June 29. Upon regaining consciousness, Okoth learned from a friend about the false reports of his death.

“My friend came and told me that Kenyans had already killed me. I told him I am okay and not dead,” he said.

Frank Okoth noted that he is still in pain, but he is grateful to be alive. He is an orphan and lives with his grandmother and uncle in the Land Mawe slums in Nairobi.

Okoth said he joined Tuesday’s protest out of frustration over long-term unemployment.

On that particular Tuesday, after unsuccessfully searching for work in the nearby Industrial Area, Okoth returned home hungry and helpless.

Frustrated, he decided to join his friends who were heading to town to protest the anti-finance bill.

“I had not gone to protest but to look for a job, but I missed it,” he said.

Protesters Occupy Parliament

When he arrived at the Parliament buildings, chaos erupted and he found himself in the middle of a battle between police and protesters.

“We were many but I was at the forefront. We started telling the police that we had come in peace. Police threw tear gas at us, so my focus was on the officers ahead of us, but those who shot me were on the side,” Okoth narrated.

“Police began firing bullets, both live and rubber. Within seconds, I was bleeding and in pain,” he added.

Okoth woke up days later at Kenyatta National Hospital, having undergone multiple surgeries. He was discharged from the hospital four days after admission.

Now bedridden and in pain, Okoth says he struggles to afford his subsequent hospital visits and check-ups.

“Since I was discharged from the hospital, no one bothers to take care of me. Life here is just sleeping; I can’t even turn,” he stated.

According to his grandmother, the hospital bill was Kes. 45,000, which they could not afford. They have been seeking help from friends and well-wishers.

Despite everything, Okoth expressed no regret, insisting that the protesters were advocating for their welfare and should not stop until their voices were heard.

Meanwhile, his friend complained that the millions of funds raised online to help those affected haven’t reached many of the protest victims, including Frank.

“I heard that there is money being contributed to cater for the protest victims. I tried texting Hanifa, sent her the details and pictures, but she did not respond,” the friend told the media.

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