Police misinterpreted court order on anti-IEBC protests, CORD says

Police misinterpreted court order on anti-IEBC protests, CORD says

Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has claimed that the police misinterpreted a court order on their protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Speaking on Sunday, Siaya Senator James Orengo stated that the court order does not bar them from holding protests against IEBC commissioners, as claimed by the police, but restricts them from storming IEBC offices at Anniversary Towers and forcefully evicting the commissioners.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett had on Sunday claimed that they would stop CORD’s anti-IEBC protests on Monday, saying their role as the national police is to ensure every Kenyan observes law and order.

“The court has stated that CORD is not allowed to hold demonstrations until the matter is heard on June 6 (today). We will be in hand to ensure CORD adheres to this order,” said Boinett.

“If they disobey the law and go to the streets on Monday we will be forced to stop them because it is our duty to observe law and order.”

In a rejoinder, Orengo said that their protests will go on as planned, adding that they have so far adhered to the court ruling and maintained peace during their protests.

“There is no court order that prevents any Kenyan from holding demonstrations, what the order prevents is storming IEBC offices,” he said.

The order, which is in our possession, does not categorically stop CORD from holding the protests but warns against efforts to evict commissioner from office or barring them from accessing their offices.

In a ruling issued by Justice Isaac Lenaola after five Jubilee MPs moved to court seeking to stop CORD’s protests, the court restrains CORD from “breaking into, storming, forcibly opening the doors or blocking such access to the IEBC commissioners and IEBC staff premises within Kenya.”

During Madaraka Day celebrations at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, Deputy President William Ruto also claimed that there was an order preventing CORD from holding anti-IEBC protests, reports that were immediately refuted by CORD co-principal Moses Wetangula.

Coalition principal Raila Odinga has insisted that they will not stop their push for the removal of IEBC commissioners, saying they have no ability to deliver free and fair elections in 2017.

Raila has claimed that the commissioners have been promised government jobs after the expiry of their term in 2017 if they rigged President Uhuru Kenyatta back to power, claims that the commission chair Issack Hassan has refuted.

CORD had last week suspended their protests to create time for dialogue, even proceeding to appoint a team of five legislators to represent them in the discussions.

Jubilee, however, ignored the request to name their team saying CORD should table their motion against IEBC in Parliament.