An unidentified man has set himself on fire in Mombasa City’s Central Business District, to protest against Kenya’s high cost of living.
It was learnt that the incident happened on Thursday.
According to the Nation in Kenya, a video captured by an onlooker shows passersby stopping to watch as the man in black standing atop a concrete block sets himself on fire.
The crowd is heard gasping as the man then shouts and falls to the ground, still burning.l, the report said.
The man was standing on top of a concrete block near a petrol station around Mwembe Tayari in Mombasa, setting himself on fire while bystanders watched and others recorded.
According to the report, the man was rushed to Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Mombasa County Chief Fire Officer Ibrahim Basafir told the outlet that the man sustained serious burn injuries, but was alive and undergoing treatment.
The man was incensed by locals who claimed that he was setting himself on fire because he had stolen some goods.
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In the video the man was seen pouring liquid suspected to be a flammable substance on his body before lighting himself. Some onlookers tried to stop him, begging him to reconsider his decision while some assured him that all would be well.
A police officer based in Mombasa confirmed to journalists that the man had indeed set himself on fire.
“We have already rushed him to Coast General Hospital where he is receiving treatment,” he stated, adding that police officers were yet to question him on what prompted him to take the drastic action.
He told the eyewitnesses he was protesting against the high cost of living and the 2022 “stolen” presidential election, in which the opposition leader Raila Odinga lost to President William Ruto. Ruto’s victory was upheld in court which dismissed Mr Odinga’s claims of irregularities.
The Kenyan Daily Post reports that the cost of living is a highly-contested issue in Kenya. Many Kenyans are reported to have been complaining online that they cannot afford basic products.
The rise in the cost of living has primarily been linked to surging fuel prices, persistent drought conditions, and the depreciation of the Shilling.
Kenyans have previously taken to the streets to protest against the high cost of living.