Raila orders Saitoti to censure police over Limuru chaos

Police used live ammunition and teargas to disperse thousands who wanted to attend the Limuru 2B meeting

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has ordered Internal Security Minister George Saitoti to take immediate action against the Commissioner of Police and all Provincial Administration officials who were involved in violent dispersal of anti Gema youth in Limuru.

Saitoti has also been directed to ensure that immediate investigations are carried out on threats to the life and family of Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara.

In a statement, Odinga said that the police failed to protect the rights of the conveners of the meeting by using teargas and live ammunition to disperse them.

Apart from violating the constitution, Odinga said that police should have been observant of the fact that organisers such meetings incur substantial expenditures (such as paying for the conference venue, its logistics, travel for the delegates and programming the availability of speakers) which he said cannot be undone at the last minute.

Police opened fire and lobbed teargas at thousands of youth who were marching to the Jumuia Conference Centre in Limuru for a meeting organised to counter another held there by GEMA leaders on March 23.

Odinga insists that police tactics in cancelling the meeting were a recipe for disaster and also tainted the integrity of the government’s commitment to uphold the law.

He said that if police had information against any individuals planning to disrupt the meeting dubbed Limuru 2B they should have dealt with them and let the meeting go on.

“It is unacceptable that police can cancel a gathering on grounds that thugs planned to disrupt it. Police indicated to the organisers that a group led by a Member of Parliament had threatened to disrupt the meeting. But rather than arrest those who were threatening to cause a breach of the peace, and provide security for those meeting lawfully, the police chose to assist those who were sabotaging a lawful meeting!” Odinga’s statement read.

“They chased the innocent through fields, constantly firing tear gas and bullets, and alarmed residents in neighbouring compounds and disrupted their daily lives. The police did not maintain law and order as they are required to do,” he further stated.

Odinga insisted that such scenes belonged to the past and that they had been banished from the lives of Kenyans with the new Constitution.

“The sight of police officers putting up roadblocks on a major thoroughfare and repeatedly firing rounds of tear gas at hundreds of perfectly peaceful people caused intense alarm of a kind we have not experienced for some years now,” the statement further read adding that Wednesday’s meeting was organised by some of Kenya’s ‘most respected luminaries known for their commitment to democracy, national harmony and peace’.

The PM says that the action by the police on Wednesday had also raised their fears about what else might lie ahead which might curtail the exercise of democratic rights ahead of the next election.

“Scenes of Archbishop Reverend David Gitari and former MP Hon Paul Muite, who fought gallantly, for the freedom we have today, being tear gassed and shot at, will not be tolerated by Kenyans any more, nor images of unarmed youths being chased away like criminals from the scene of a licensed meeting.”

They take us decades back and raise alarm to the fact that despite giving ourselves a new constitution, we are not out of the woods yet,” the statement said.

He has assured that the government remains committed to upholding all the democratic rights the people of Kenya so painfully won and entrenched in the Constitution including the right by the people to make independent political choices without intimidation or blackmail.

Imanyara told parliament on Wednesday that he feared for his life after he was accosted by four men as he drove to his home near State House, Nairobi on Tuesday night.

LORDRICK MAYABI

Lordrick is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. He is passionate about political and governance issues. He also takes keen interest in human rights matters, justice and is fond of sports.

  • luvmeluvu

    i8n times like these politicians who are spent forces jostle for new paper space. But we know the type of leaders we want.

  • Pratt

    Same same old tricks of using opportunism to play democracy! The PM has no power to order around the police and moreso, when its clear he is fighting for his goons. Pretence of leadership should not be self serving at all. But the fellow who has never had time for our brothers in police force and even regularly incites public against them, wont hesitate to ask them to protect his endless lies. Prime ministership is already reduntant position in the current situation. Raila should not therefore pretend to be master of human rights only when his paid goons defy orders. Bishop Gitari, famous tribalist and political reject Paul Muite are well known opportunistic supporters of Raila. Muite who the moment president Kibaki was elected, dropped all pretence of human rights activism and quickly became a Kikuyu protector, is now trying to mislead the public. He only became anti-Kibaki after he realised that he wasnt going to be appointed a minister. He was strongly aided by Koigi wa Wamwere who eventually landed assistant ministerial job. From then on, Muite has attempted with alot of failure to regain his balance. We cant therefore take such opportunistic fellows seriously. Raila should also realize that his time of fooling Kenyans is long gone and gone forever.  

    • Goodboy30it

      Anybody has powers to question police brutality and PM has his constitunal right to do so… Any kenyan has a right to peaceful assembly so longer as he plays by the law… There have been many prayer meetings where people have been insulted, insighted, tribalism promoted, but no police was used to bring them to book…!

      • Pratt

        “Anybody has powers to question police brutality” even to score empty political points? And even when that “brutality” is coming from his hired thugs? First, you must realize that policemen are also human beings. You cant therefore expect them to hold their hands akimbo when they are being attacked by goons, seemingly sent by the same empty complaining righteous people.Their job is to maintain law and order. Thus, once they issue orders that you dont agree with, if you are as democratic as you pretend, the least you can do is to go to court to challenge those orders. You CANT opt to confront them while pretending your rights are being violated. Thats criminal pal! Brutality cant also be onesided it first comes from purported victims. Your reckless idol, if he was ever been honest, was supposed to get breifing from the police before giving “orders’ that he has no capacity of enforcing. He is not supposed to lead from the streets! Why didnt he consult the police commissioner first before going public? We know why. The idea is to show that he is with the people, while in reality he is the one inciting public against the police! Major Gen. Ali was his punching bag, does he want Mr. Iteere to same too? When does Raila get along with other people and moreso, public officials? And in his party, he has had to lose his partners anyhow! Does that say something? His illogic flies against the collective interests of the country. 

  • MKENYA

    ALL COMMENTS MADE BY SERIOUS  TRIBALISTS !

  • Mwangijurist

    HAHAHAHAHAHA,,,, HEEEEEEEEheeeeeeeeeeeee uuuuiiiiii…..

  • kinyari

    The Mungiki thugs and terror gang are now innocent Wananchi, but wait a  minute, have they even held a session with the truth justice and reconciliation commission. They are still collecting eggs form Chicken they do not rear, illegal taxes on the actual innocent hard working Wananchi. but what is they PM doing about it? Of course he care less who suffers, just like in 2007, it’s all about power. If a goon has a vote, you can quickly forget his evil deeds and buy him for a season. let me assure you bwana PM, a bird in the hand is worthy two in the bush, just court Mudavadi and all his allies who are now streaming out of ODM. Those Mungiki youth will take your money and vote for a totally different candidate, in the meantime you are loosing some critical support.

  • Makonge

    the police did the right thing.the odm sponsored rally was nothing but trouble.

  • Njeripk

    Now we know the PM is simply a supervisor and has no power to order a fellow Minister. He is simply a prefect and his ‘order’ will be simply ignored. However any analyst worth his salt will tell you that Midiwo, Imanyara and limuru 2b are being orchestrated to divert attention away from a crumbling ODM. Musalia is about to put paid to Raila’s bid for Statehouse by walking out of ODM an announcing his new party tomorrow. Why not keep the Country occupied with nonsense from Midiwo and Imanyara while issuing frivolous orders over a meeting to be attended by hoodlums murderers and extortionists? Bwana PM, your scheme is signaling serious desperation and your antics are simply akin to one clutching at straws. At this rate you are likely to come behind Kalonzo in the Presidential bid…like number 5.

  • Makonge

    THIS GUY IMANYARA COULD NOT REMEMBER THE EVENTS OF THE PREVIOUS NIGHT AND HAD TO READ PREPARED NOTES.WHO PREPAIRED  THE NOTES FOR YOU BWANA WAKILI.PEOPLE ARE NOT THAT DAFT MY FRIEND.