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Govt bans demos in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa city centres

Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi (centre), Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinett (left) Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua at a press conference outside Harambee House, Nairobi, October 12, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG
Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi (centre), Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinett (left) Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua at a press conference outside Harambee House, Nairobi, October 12, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG 

The government has outlawed anti-IEBC demos in central business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

Citing Public Order Act, Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i on Thursday said the ban was aimed at protecting Kenyans and their property.

Dr Matiang’i cited Section 56 of the Public Order Act in making the decision even as he insisted that his order does not curtail the right of National Super Alliance (Nasa) supporters to demonstrate and picket.

He said while it is a right of any Kenyan to hold peaceful demonstrations, past demos by the National Super Alliance (Nasa) have been characterised by destruction of property, looting businesses and attack on police.

He said the government would not condone such demonstrations.
"We will not allow any demonstrations along the CBDs in Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu and we will advise the police on the same," he said.

Imminent danger

Dr Matiang'i said the ban followed a National Security Advisory Committee meeting and that it “was due to the clear and imminent danger, for the time being".

He said he had also met the Kenya Private Sector Alliance that he said complained to him about the demos and their effects.

“We cannot go on this way. It is unfortunate to see people’s cars being smashed, property being destroyed in the guise of a peaceful demonstrations. We must respect the law,” he said.

The CS added that it is the responsibility of the organisers of the demonstration to make sure demonstrators do not infringe on other people’s property.

He said the police would prefer charges to the Nasa chief executive officer Norman Magaya for not ensuring that their supporters do not destroy property.

“The law requires that person who issues a notice to the police requesting to be allowed to hold peaceful demonstrations to be held responsible of any destructions,” he said.

Confrontations

Dr Matiang’i said since the anti-IEBC demonstrations started, a lot of property has been destroyed and supporters have been attacking police leading to confrontations.

He called on business people whose property has been destroyed and looted to report to the police.

“We are going to take legal measures against the organisers, this will also enable us to launch investigations and those found culpable charged,” he said.

Dr Matiang’i, however, assured Kenyans that the government will ensure there is peace and order.

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