Azimio protests are illegal, National Police Service declares

Nairobi Regional Police Commander Adamson Bungei during a press briefing on Monday's protests.

Photo credit: Mary Wambui I Nation Media Group

The National Police Service (NPS) has declared the Azimio la Umoja protest on Monday as illegal.

In a statement read by the Nairobi Regional Commander Adamson Bungei, the NPS has said the coalition failed to meet the requirements of the Public Order Act - for persons planning to picket inform the police at least three days prior.

"We received two requests from Azimio and Nairobi business community to hold protests tomorrow. One late in the evening and the other this morning. Both did not meet the legal threshold and were thus declined and the same was communicated to them in writing," said Mr Bungei.

Consequently, any persons engaging in the protests will be conducting an illegality.

On access to restricted locations like State House, the commander urged Kenyans to be informed by the law on access to restricted areas without explicit authority and not by individuals.

Those who will defy the law and participate in the protests have however been urged to remain orderly and avoid destroying public property.

He added that the police have taken appropriate measures to protect Kenyans and their property tomorrow and therefore businessmen should not close their shops. 

"We caution anyone that will break the law or breach peace during the procession shall be dealt with according to the law," he warned.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki also issued 

Police outlawed the opposition protests but allowed peaceful demonstrations so long as protestors stay away from protected areas including State House.

Although authorities insisted the opposition had not notified police within the required timelines, they said the anti-government marches would be allowed but chaos and destruction of property would be met with the full force of the law.

In his statement, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said that in balancing the rights of the rest of Kenyans, security agencies shall enforce the constitution firmly, decisively and resolutely, with no regard for the political persuasions or social standings of those involved.

“It is hereby notified, for information of the general public, that pursuant to the Protected Areas Act (Cap 204 of the laws of Kenya), security agencies shall prevent unauthorised access to all protected areas. Any person who incite public disorder or otherwise breach the peace in any part of the Republic of Kenya shall be prosecuted,” he said.

He added that working day activities including learning in schools and other institutions shall proceed normally.

“The government assures the public of their safety and advises everyone to continue with their activities uninterrupted, and allow security agencies to discharge their mandate or maintain law and order,” said the CS.

Professor Kindiki, however, said it will be upon the organisers of the protest to ensure they are peaceful and that the participants are unarmed and remain orderly.

“In exercise of their rights or freedoms, no one may engage in threats, lawlessness, violence, destruction of property or obstruction of activities of other people or in any other way infringe on the rights or freedoms of others,” he said.