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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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We’re ready to arrest, charge Raila with treason – police

Police are ready to arrest and charge NASA leader Raila Odinga with treason if he is sworn-in as President on Tuesday.

Sources at Vigilance House said police will abide by the advice of Attorney General Githu Muigai on the matter, who said this would be treason and that the punishment is death.

The sources said police will not disrupt Raila’s meeting “but we cannot allow what is unlawful so what matters is for his meeting to be lawful…if it is a lawful meeting we will have no problem. We only take action in accordance with the law”.

Lawful or unlawful?

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Kenya Police spokesman Charles Owino declined to share details of terms on which Raila will be allowed to hold a public meeting without a swearing-in.

“I don’t have jurisdiction to comment on that. The Attorney General was clear….The AG is the chief adviser to the government and we work for the government. The AG has advised us on what the law provides for,” Owino told The Star on phone.

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“Police enforce laws and regulations of the land. We respect Kenyans and what they do but if you commit an offence, we have to act within the law. If the law dictates that you have to be arrested then our hands are tied – we have to act within the law.”

Owino said police don’t anticipate that Raila will commit an offence, or do anything unusual, because he is experienced and will act within the law.

Two plans are being tossed – stopping Raila from holding a meeting or allowing it but disrupting it immediately it turns out to be an inauguration.

Gunshots and tear gas filled Donholm on November 28 when police disrupted Raila’s announcement about the plan.

A source noted: “Every lawful assembly is authorised. If you authorise an assembly then it turns out to be unlawful, then in becomes riotous and therefore you have to request it be dispersed. But if a person has out-rightly told you that the activity he is going to carry out is unlawful, can you authorise it?

“Kenyans know what happens. If the activity Raila wants to carry out is lawful, we will authorise it, but if it is not, we cannot. Is the meeting that Raila wants to have lawful or unlawful? if you see us authorise it, it is lawful. if we don’t authorise it, it is unlawful. If an activity is lawful, we provide security but if it is not, we don’t.”

‘Raila volatile political statements’

Owino said Raila’s statement on the swearing-in contained political allegations and police have no obligation to respond as their primary role is to enforce the law.

“We don’t react to those kinds of allegations because they are volatile political statements. We don’t need to react to political statements. Our duty is to enforce the law…we are not supposed to respond to political questions. We only act in accordance to the law.

“A policeman is an officer of the law; a person who enforces law and order. If the activity you want to carry out is not lawful, as provided for in the constitution, then we cannot provide security.

“If the activity he is going to carry out is lawful and is provided for in the constitution of Kenya, we will provide security. We have no problem with him. We serve everyone.”

But another officer said Raila cannot come up with another activity as he stated he will become President of the People’s Republic of Kenya come December 12, which is Jamhuri Day.

The senior officer noted police were not aware of an activity other than what the NASA principal specified.

“Our duty is only to watch and see if he carries out the activity of being sworn-in. If he does, we will follow the law. If the law says he be charged for treason, then we can only arrest and charge him and leave the rest to courts. He is not above the law. If he does what is right, we will have no problem.”

“Our duty is to enforce the law and regulations. If Raila wants to do anything within the law there is no problem but if what he wants to do is illegal, then we don’t give authority.”

the-star.co.ke

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