Police caution over poll protests

March 5, 2013 6:28 pm
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Anyone with complaints on the final results was urged to follow the due process of the law, as opposed to taking to the streets/FILE
Anyone with complaints on the final results was urged to follow the due process of the law, as opposed to taking to the streets/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 5 – Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo says no demonstrations in protest at the election results will be tolerated in any part of the country.

Kimaiyo told a press conference on Tuesday that officers deployed in various parts of the country are under firm instructions to arrest any demonstrator or protest organisers.

“I want to emphasise that we do not expect members of the public to come out in large numbers and start demonstrating because of the results. That is against the law and we are not going to entertain this,” he said.

Anyone with complaints on the final results was urged to follow the due process of the law, as opposed to taking to the streets.

“As we wait for the results to be tallied and announced by the IEBC, we should avoid provocation or intimidation of any kind; unnecessary gathering, discussions or indulging in arguments on individuals’ preferred candidates,” Kimaiyo stated.

In the meantime, Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo raised concern over what he terms as the sharp rise in hate speech messages especially on social media from Monday night as provisional results were being relayed.

Ndemo said that such messages have the potential of destabilising the country and should thus be avoided.

He further pointed out that the government is closely monitoring both the local and international media in the country and any inciting reporting will be dealt with.

“Even before the voting started in the morning, some were showing ‘Violence mars Kenyan Elections,’ we had not even started the election. We complained towards the afternoon and by evening, it had changed,” he stated.

He further lauded Kenyans for the peaceful way they conducted themselves as many stood under the hot sun for long hours to cast their vote.

“Already we have disappointed many that we did not go the violent way. Of course today is a very critical day; the second day of counting and you recall that the second day in 2007 was a violent day. All indications are that we will not see violence this time if we remain peaceful like we have in these last few days,” he said.

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