We’ll secure Raila rallies, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki says

Kithure Kindiki

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki addressing journalists at Harambee House yesterday. With him is Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Gabow (right).

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The government will not only allow the planned nationwide rallies organised by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, but it will also facilitate the security of all those involved, interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has said.

The CS asked the organisers to provide the specific time they expect to hold the rallies, the activities they will engage in, the venues they will use and the frequency of the rallies. He also asked them to ensure none of those involved should carry any weapons, harass citizens not interested in the rallies and keep off other people’s property.

Prof Kindiki made the announcement during the state of the nation’s security address in Nairobi yesterday where he said the right to engage in protest is enshrined in the constitution.

“In our culture as a democracy, we are not interested in interrupting the freedoms supposed to be enjoyed by the people of Kenya ... we will not undermine our constitution and the democratic space that we have created for ourselves,” he said. He added that the government has made all necessary preparations to ensure those interested in the rallies do so peacefully.

“We will however need to be given the full list of activities, where and the frequency of these activities so that we can plan. We have finite human resource to deploy and must balance how we deploy,” he said.

He reminded the rallies organisers that Article 37 of the constitution that gives them the freedom of assembly and to protest also limits the manner with which they do so.

“Demonstrations, picketing, airing grievances, meetings and all assemblies must be peaceful. Anybody carrying any manner of arms, including rocks and stones and other materials that can hurt people, will be in violation of Article 37,” he said.

He added: “Government will not engage in any disruption of the people who want to protest and demonstrate. Continue peacefully without jeopardising people’s peace and businesses,” he said.

During the address, Prof Kindiki also announced that the National Police Service Hospital, the Kenya Prison Service Hospital and the Border Police Hospital will be fully equipped in a month’s time.

“These facilities will help us deal with officers injured in the line of duty and also deal with the mental issues of our uniformed men and women,” he said.

He further stated that the government will also introduce rotations for administration and regular police officers working in the challenging environments of Northern and North Eastern.

“I have directed the relevant departments to prioritise pre-deployment and post-deployment counselling to our officers working in those areas. Also, the police equipment modernisation programme has begun to enhance the capacity of officers working in these areas,” he said.

The CS added that the government has dealt with the recent spate of crime in Nairobi and the perennial banditry in the Rift Valley and North Eastern.

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