Police ban demos ahead of court’s ruling

Police have vowed to crackdown on planned demonstrations across the country ahead of Saturday’s ruling by the Supreme Court ruling on an presidential petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said they are aware of people who plan to hold demonstrations regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the petition.

The police have consequently banned any assembly outside the premises of the Supreme Court on Saturday and instead urged the public to follow the proceedings on television.

“This should not be construed as denial of right to association, but a precaution to ensure criminal elements do not hijack such demonstrations to engage in lawlessness,” he said.

Mr Kimaiyo, in a security briefing at his office, cited Nairobi where supporters of both the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) and Jubilee Coalition plan to converge outside the Supreme Court when the judges will be reading out their ruling.

According to the Inspector General, the planned demonstrations are being co-ordinated by non-governmental organisations.

Mr Kimaiyo advised NGOs seeking to engage in demonstrations to first seek police security.

Katiba La Mwananchi is one such organisation that has been warned not to engage in demonstrations, because it lacks the capacity to ensure security of its members and ward off criminals who may take advantage of the occasion.

At the same time, the police boss said they have gathered evidence on some people who are distributing pangas, simis, machetes and clubs in parts of Kibera, Mathare, Dandora, Kariobangi and some parts of the Coastal region.

“We also wish to advice leaders issuing statements that are tantamount to incitement, hate speech and negative stereotyping to desist from doing so. We have noticed increased polarization of the country emanating from such statements and some are done through social media and those perpetuating this know themselves,” the police boss said


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