According to Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki, the government will provide protection for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party at Wednesday’s political rally and all future events.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, CS Kindiki declared that as long as opposition political activity is kept within the bounds of the law, the government will not interfere.
The CS warned the opposition supporters against using violence or bringing weapons to the ostensibly peaceful meetings and stated that security teams will be sent to safeguard those present in compliance with the Constitution.
“Demonstrations, picketing, and airing of grievances, meetings and assembly must be peaceful. We expect those who are engaging in this activity to respect our Constitution and the law,” he said, citing Article 37 of the Constitution.
“These activities and events must be unarmed. Anybody carrying any weapon, including rocks, stones, and other materials that can hurt other people would be in violation of our Constitution. You must not encroach on the rights of other people who are not interested or even bothered with what you’re doing. Their businesses must be protected.”
The CS requested Azimio to formally explain the schedule, frequency, and nature of its planned activities in order for the government to make the required security measures and support, while taking into account that the country has competing needs for its security.
He also asked the opposition to obey the law while reiterating that the administration would not engage in party politics or utilize security forces to further political goals.
Following CS Kindiki’s words, the National Police Service (NPS) released a statement in which they pledged to protect Azimio during upcoming public consultations and forbade demonstrators from using force.
“In respect of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 under Article 37 which provides that every person has the right to the peaceful gathering, demonstration and picketing, the law further provides under Article 33 (3) of the Constitution that in exercising the freedom of expression, every person shall respect the rights of others,” read a statement by Deputy Inspector General Noor Gabow.
“In this regard, the National Police Service will provide adequate security for the planned rallies, and we call upon all members in attendance to maintain peace. However, any breach of the peace shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.”