Police Deny Raila Permission To Hold Protests Over Late Notification

    According to Nairobi regional commander Adamson Bungei, two protest requests by Azimio la Umoja and Nairobi Businessmen Community have been denied for failing to meet legal requirements.

    Azimio la Umoja, a political alliance led by Raila Odinga, has planned a demonstration on Monday to demand electoral reforms ahead of the 2022 general election.

    Bungei, however, claimed that they failed to notify the police three days in advance, as required by the Public Order Act.

    “We are in receipt of requests. One that came last evening and one today morning. One from Azimio la Umoja and one from Businessmen Nairobi community. However, both do not meet the thresholds of the law and their requests were therefore denied,” Bungei said.

    “The Public Order Act Section 5 states any person intending to holding a protest must notify the police three days prior but not more than 14 days,” he added.

    Azimio submitted their request on Saturday at 10 p.m., while the Nairobi Business Community submitted theirs on Sunday at 8 a.m., according to Bungei.

    Bungei also stated that the State House, where Azimio la Umoja planned to march, is an unauthorised area and that no one is permitted to enter, peacefully or otherwise.

    “State house has been mentioned as an area of concern. Under laws of Kenya, it is an unauthorized area. Kenyans must be guided by the law, not persons of interest. You are not allowed in certain areas, whether peacefully or not,” he said.

    He warned that anyone planning to disrupt the peace would be dealt with decisively in accordance with the law, and that tomorrow would be business as usual, with no roads closed.

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    He stated that anyone who meets the Public Order Act’s threshold is free to protest peacefully and unarmed, as guaranteed by Article 37 of the Constitution. According to him, the police are guided by the Constitution to protect life and maintain peace.

    “We wish to assure all Kenyans and persons of goodwill within the City of Nairobi that we have taken appropriate security measures to ensure public safety and freedom of movement at all levels. However, we hereby caution that any person that will breach the peace or break the law during the procession shall be dealt with decisively according to the law,” he said.