Kepsa backs ban on CBD demos, says move to protect businesses

A protester carries a placard in Kisumu County on October 11, 2017. Photo | Tonny Omondi | NMG
A protester carries a placard in Kisumu County on October 11, 2017. Photo | Tonny Omondi | NMG 

The business community has welcomed a move by the government to ban protests in city centres in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

In a statement on Friday morning, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) has said that anti-IEBC demonstrations are characterised by “wanton destruction” of private property.

“Therefore, we support the authorities’ nascent moves to control the wantonness of demonstrations through designation of approved demonstration and picketing sites, while ensuring that those aggrieved can come out and express their displeasure peaceably,” said the Kepsa statement.
Kepsa said while it recognises the value of protests, it sees “hypocrisy and dishonesty” in the politicians that are going to the streets while also pursuing legal solutions.

Rather, the lobby said, politicians should support the development of institutions such as the Judiciary by trusting them to resolve disputes arising from the elections.

Looted goods


Businesses in Nairobi had by Thursday lost at least Sh15 million in looted goods, the Daily Nation reported.

These statistics are based on reports made to the Central Police Station.

Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has banned demonstrations in the business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu citing the destruction of private property.

However, the ban has been met with pushback from the National Super Alliance (NASA) and civil rights organisations that argue that it is an infringement on the freedoms of speech and assembly.

Security personnel and opposition supporters clashed on Friday morning in Mombasa and Kisumu as police sought to enforce the directive.