NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – The National Super Alliance (NASA) has defended its Chief Executive Norman Magaya following a warning by the Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi that Magaya will be charged with destruction of property during Opposition protests.
In a media briefing at the Okoa Kenya secretariat in Nairobi, Senate Minority Leader and NASA co-leader Moses Wetangula said Magaya had no role in the looting and destruction of property witnessed during NASA demonstrations in Nairobi on Wednesday.
“Magaya issued notice of a demonstration to the police for the sole object of getting the relevant agencies to provide security. Once such a notification is given, the burden shifts to the police to provide security to both the demonstrators and the general public,” Wetangula remarked on Thursday adding that Magaya cannot be penalised for following the law.
He further threatened to institute private court proceedings against the Interior CS if he persists to issue threats to Magaya and other NASA associates.
“Matiangi seeks to criminalise legal political activity and we wish to categorically state that we shall hold him responsible should any harm come to Magaya following his reckless threats and intimidation,” Wetangula stated.
Earlier on Thursday, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo said NASA will defy a directive from the Ministry of Interior banning protesters from accessing the Central Business Districts in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.
Amollo who was reacting to an order by Matiangi, who announced the ban on Thursday, said NASA will proceed with its weekly demonstrations in total disregard of the order.
“If you notify the police on an intended demonstration, you do not require any response from the police except if somebody else has booked the venue where you intend to demonstrate (in which case you will be asked to change the date) or if there’s any danger to your life or limb as the person who’s going to demonstrate,” Amollo argued in response to Matiangi’s directive.
“The police have the responsibility to protect both the demonstrator, businesses and other Kenyans are protected. It is not true that the police need to write back to a person notifying them of a demonstration and confirm availability,” he added.
While announcing the ban, Matiangi castigated Magaya for failing to ensure the orderly conduct of NASA supporters during demonstrations within Nairobi’s CBD on Wednesday which resulted in the destruction of property and looting of business premises.
“The law provides that the organisers shall be held personally liable for any breach of law during demonstrations,” he said.
He asked those who had lost property during the said demonstrations to record statements with the officer commanding Nairobi Central Police Station so as to facilitate Magaya’s charging in court.
“We’re waiting for a report on the damages caused so that we can quantify the claims,” Matiangi stated.
Matiangi’s statement followed a meeting with representatives of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance who sought the government’s assurance on the security of their businesses.