, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced Thursday that CORD had banned all political activities until the end of the petition he has filed at the Supreme Court.
In a statement sent by his Spokesman Dennis Onyango, Odinga appealed to his supporters to remain calm and respect the rule of law at all times.
“The idea of such rallies had been discussed, but was dropped altogether mid yesterday (Wednesday) after wider consultations,” the PM said, just hours after the National Security Advisory Committee – which is the country’s top security organ – warned all political parties against holding rallies which could incite violence in the country.
A statement issued by the Head of the Civil Service Francis Kimemia said NSAC was particularly concerned at recent meetings held by the Prime Minister and remarks he has been making, where he insisted that he won the March 4 election.
“An urgent NSAC met today Wednesday 20th March, 2013 following the increasing tension in the country occasioned by public statements attributed to some coalition leaders during which they castigated Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and claimed that they won the General Election contrary to declaration and gazettement of the president-elect by the IEBC,” the statement signed by Kimemia said in an apparent reference to Odinga’s meetings and remarks made in Kibera and Mombasa lately.
The security council has also warned all other politicians to avoid public meetings and utterances which could easily divide Kenyans.
“The government advised the political leadership to suspend their planned inter-county meetings because these campaign meetings are unwarranted and will only ignite ill-feelings and animosity among Kenyans and could trigger violence and insecurity,” the statement added.
Under the law, politicians or groups only required to notify the police of their intention to hold meetings and not seek licences to do so, making it difficult for the police to regulate such meetings.
Security agencies are particularly worried that any form of political rallies are likely to erode gains made after the country conducted a peaceful general election.
“Indeed, such meetings could obsolete gains made from the peaceful conduct of elections which demonstrated to the world that Kenya’s democracy had matured and investors were already releasing investment capital,” Kimemia said.
During the NSAC meeting-Kimemia said-the government upheld the earlier directive by Inspector General of Police that no mass actions, demonstrations or political gatherings and meetings would be allowed since this would compromise peace, security and tranquillity during this electoral process.