NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12- Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has denied claims that police officers have been enforcing the law on public gatherings selectively, while unfairly targetting Deputy President William Ruto.
Mutyambai defended the police service saying they are non-partisan, after concerns on why he allows Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga to hold huge meetings while banning those called by the DP.
“Should we establish any possible risk, then authorization is declined for safety of the public and the properties around the said area. There are groups that have not attracted any form of violence while others have attracted violence, hence varied authorizations,” the IG explained even as Ruto insisted he was unfairly targetted in a recent directive by the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC).
The directive requires anyone keen to hold a public or political meeting to notify and receive permission from the local police station.
But in the recent days, Ruto’s two meetings in Nyamira and Mumias were cancelled even as Raila held huge gatherings in Kajiado and his Bondo home where he hosted Kikuyu Council of Elders.
“It is unfortunate that police cordoned off the venues of Kakamega church functions last weekend while allowing others to go on uninterrupted, Ruto protested during a meeting with church leaders at his Sugoi home on Monday.
The new directive was issued after two people were killed in Murang’a when youths clashed ahead of a church function convened by the DP.
He said the 2010 Constitution empowered police to be independent while discharging their duties, adding that it was wrong for the law enforcement officers to apply the law selectively.
“Let’s not turn Kenya into an Animal Farm, where all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. All Kenyans must be served equally irrespective of who is leaning to which direction politically. Law must be applied equally not selectively,” said Ruto
But speaking in Nairobi, the IG said that gatherings are only authorized after it has been ascertained that there is no risk of violence or attack on the particular group.
“Our mandate is to ensure all Kenyans abide by the rule of law and that all citizens and property are protected and kept safe,” he said.
Under the new directives, conveners of the meetings will be required to obey orders given to them by the Officer in Charge of their jurisdictions or any other officer of a higher rank of an inspector.