, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 3 – Police have rejected a notification by CORD on planned demonstrations on Monday against the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet says there is already a court order barring the protests while warning that participants will be dealt with firmly as per the law.
“Police reject CORD’s notification of planned demonstrations on Monday 6th June 2016 on account of a valid court order and warn they will deal firmly with anyone breaking the law,” the IG warned.
Boinnet warned against any plan to counter the Raila Odinga-led protests as indicated by Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria.
“Those planning counter-demonstrations (are warned) that they equally risked being arrested if they disobeyed the law,” he cautioned.
Kuria had warned that “if on Monday, my court order will not be enforced, my men will ensure it is enforced. My court order is similar to what they (CORD) got.”
“Tell Raila (Odinga) and his people, if he does not respect the order I got from court, see you on the streets on Monday.”
Though it is entirely the work of police to enforce the law, Kuria said his men will do it in the spirit of community policing.
The previous protests have been marred by cases of violence with police using water cannon and teargas to disperse demonstrators.
The protests are set to resume after the Jubilee Government failed to select a team for the proposed dialogue on the electoral reforms and other pertinent issues ahead of the 2017 elections.
CORD’s letter indicated that the demonstration” shall be peaceful to express displeasure and call for the overhaul of IEBC ahead of the next elections.”
“The demonstration will be peaceful and to ensure orderly procession, the coalition has made arrangements for peace marshals who will guide and manage demonstrators,” reads the notification authored by CORD Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya.
Magaya had called on the police to ensure the demonstrations are peaceful by providing security to leaders and protestors.
It was clear by Friday that the government was not ready to form the team, after President Uhuru Kenyatta categorically stated that the law must be followed in addressing the issues raised against the IEBC.
Speaking during the National Prayer Breakfast, President Kenyatta vowed to protect the Constitution as per the oath he took, when he was sworn as the leader of the country.
He said already the Constitution is clear on how the IEBC commissioners should be removed from office.
“God gave us a way forward when he helped us put a new Constitution in place. God has done his part, it is now for us Kenyans to do our part… it’s as simple as that let’s not bring God into this story. God has more important things to do for us as a country than help us sort this,” he said.
He said the law cannot be changed to suit the interests of a few individuals, in a thinly veiled attack to the opposition, who insist on dialogue on electoral reforms and other pertinent issues ahead of next year’s General election.