'No more protests, with or without notice!’ Interior CS Kindiki now warns Azimio
The government has sounded a warning to protestors ahead of the planned opposition Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party mass action protests set for Thursday.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki, in a statement released on Wednesday, cautioned Kenyans over participating in violent demos saying the police would prevent them at “all costs.”
Prof. Kindiki, citing violent spectacles witnessed on the two consecutive Mondays during the demos including looting, destruction of public amenities and disruption of daily activities, said the occurrences could possibly turn the country into anarchy.
“No more violent protests shall be allowed anywhere in Kenya. With or without notices, demonstrations and protests of any type which injure people, security officers, businesses and property shall be prevented at all costs,” stated Prof. Kindiki.
“The unfolding situation portends grave danger to the rule of law and the stability of our country. The violence, looting, destruction of public amenities, disruption of daily activities and invasion of private property portend real and imminent danger of our country sliding into irretrievable anarchy. These criminal acts must cease.”
The CS, who has been mum over the past few days, called out violence against police officers, asserting that protestors were the ones provoking the security officers to use force.
“Pursuant to Section 5(2), (6) and (10) of the Public Order Act (Cap. 56, Laws of Kenya), the police were compelled by their constitutional and legal mandate to prevent the holding of the protests whereupon orders of dispersal of the protestors were issued for the safety of both the protestors and the affected non-protesters and third parties,” Kindiki said.
He also called out looters in Kisumu, Kibra and former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s farm in Ruiru and the Raila Odinga-owned East African Spectre Limited saying they would be brought to book.
According to CS Kindiki, police officers were hesitant to attend to the Kenyatta farm incident since they were busy handling protests.
“While the quick action of the police and private security guards repulsed the Industrial Area criminals, action to protect the Ruiru property was not as quick owing to operational constraints caused by the protests that were taking place,” he stated.
In the same light, he noted that 51 police officers and 85 civilians had been injured on the two occasions, with two people already dead in the protests.
The CS has now reassured the public that no protests will be allowed onwards, further stating that he will issue relevant directives to the police in regard to dealing with demonstrations.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 245 (4) and (5) of the Constitution, I shall be issuing policy directives to the Inspector General of the National Police Service, which directives shall take effect on 31st March 2023,” he noted.
The specifics include;
- Measures that the police shall take to ensure public safety during demonstrations of any type.
- Enhancement of security for all Kenyans and foreign nationals lawfully in Kenya to ensure that no person is exposed to insecurity.
- Investigations and accountability of all persons found to have committed criminal acts against any person or the property of any person during the demonstrations and the counter activities.
- Provision of security to all persons whose private property has been violated and/or looted during the protests and to any other person with established, wellfounded fear or apprehension that their property is or may be the target of violation, destruction and/or looting; and
- All streets, estates and neighbourhoods in Nairobi, Kisumu and any other place where there are reasonable grounds to believe that violent protests may erupt in the future be provided with round-the-clock security to ensure that law-abiding persons go about their activities without intimidation, threats or disruption of their daily activities.
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