, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 5 – A showdown looms between police and CORD in Nairobi on Monday after the Opposition vowed to defy a directive declaring as illegal, planned anti-IEBC protests.
Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome warned that they would not permit the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) to hold protests in Nairobi against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
- Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome warned that they would not permit CORD to hold protests in Nairobi.
- "We will not allow any demonstrations tomorrow (Monday) because there is a court order barring it and the case touching on it is coming up for hearing tomorrow,” he said.
- “There will be no demonstrations allowed in the CBD tomorrow, if you don't have anything to do, sleep! We will not allow the economy of this city to be ruined by some individuals."
“We will not allow any demonstrations tomorrow (Monday) because there is a court order barring it and the case touching on it is coming up for hearing tomorrow,” he said.
“There will be no demonstrations allowed in the CBD tomorrow, if you don’t have anything to do, sleep! We will not allow the economy of this city to be ruined by some individuals.”
Koome told a news conference that he is likely “to make major arrests.”
“That’s the business and that’s what I am here to do, to ensure you obey the law. Whoever is breaking the law, whatever status in the society, I will arrest you and put you in cells and you’ll go court. This nonsense of inciting youths, you saw it on Wednesday, when some people were asking we want teargas, but my officers restrained themselves,” Koome said.
CORD Management Committee Co-Chairs Senators James Orengo and Johnson Muthama minutes later insisted that the weekly anti-IEBC protests would go on, after President Uhuru Kenyatta ruled out talks on the disbandment of the electoral body outside Parliament.
“We are here to reaffirm that our demonstrations will go on tomorrow. We have looked at the court order and have found no sensible reason why some elements in the police have declared it illegal.”
“We issued a notification for the demonstrations and we have not yet received any response from the legally recognised licensing officer who is the Commanding Officer, Central Police Station. The law doesn’t talk of the Inspector-General or Police County Commander.”
Orengo insisted the court order Koome was referring to does not stop them from demonstrating but only bars them “from storming and breaking into the IEBC offices.”
The CORD leaders requested the police to organise for the necessary security to ensure the safety of all leaders and the public who will participate in the demonstrations.
“We will not be cowered: We will not be threatened. We have not destroyed anyone’s property. We are surprised by Mr Koome’s declaration that full force will be used by police tomorrow. What is happening here is we are going the Ugandan way,” Muthama said.
“We will not be deterred. I am not afraid of being arrested. I am ready to be thrown in a cell because the people I will find there are Kenyan and I will preach to them and lead the protests from the cells.”
In a letter by CORD Secretariat Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya, the Opposition coalition notified Nairobi City County Commander Koome of a planned peaceful demonstration to call for the removal of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials.
Police also warned those planning counter demonstrations against the CORD protests that equally risk being arrested if they disobey the law.
“Many Kenyans of goodwill have called me asking, County Commander can we come and help you. And I have told them no, let the police handle it. We have the equipment, the training and sufficient number of officers to handle,” Koome said.