, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 2 – Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has issued a firm directive to all County Commanders to ensure any planned Saba Saba rallies on Monday are held peacefully.
Kimaiyo says it’s within the rights of the Opposition to hold the rallies while assuring them that security will be heightened to ensure those who attend are safe.
In a speech read by the Administration Police spokesperson Masoud Mwinyi, Kimaiyo however cautioned that any law breaking will be dealt with firmly.
“I have directed commanders at all levels across the country to enhance security considerably. However, the organisers of the rallies must ensure that they have in place sufficient safeguards to ensure that all the people who will be attending these events conduct themselves with utmost civility before, during and after the rallies,” he stated.
He said the public should not be worried since the rallies are just like any other political gatherings held previously.
“We have put in place strict measures to ensure that all rallies are conducted safely and that all the people who will attend the rallies are safe and secure. This is in line with our mandate as provided for under section 4 and 27 of the National Police Act 2011,” he pointed out.
The IG asked political leaders to preach peace as much as they want to push the Government to hold national dialogue.
“We don’t want any type of disruption…the organisers have to impress upon their people that they have to go to attend for the purposes of the rallies alone,” he said.
“Those people who have nothing to do with the rallies should also be let free to do their businesses as they wish.”
Mwinyi who quoted the Constitution during the media briefing said; “those who will attend and those who will continue with their work normally should not infringe on each others’ rights.”
The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy and the ruling Jubilee Coalition are set to have parallel rallies in Uhuru Park and Kamukunji grounds.
During Wednesday’s briefing, the Director of the National Steering committee on Media Monitoring Mary Ombara said that the continued political rhetoric had caused an increase to, “seasonal hate speech and incitement catalysed by emerging extreme political, tribal, religious affiliations in the absence of appropriate laws in the social media.”
She said that they will, “launch an aggressive social media campaign under the hashtag (#StopHateSpeechKenya) this July.”
“Social media users will be urged to exercise greater caution in their posts.”