The Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, has lifted a ban that he had invoked yesterday on all political rallies and processions in the country.
In a statement read by the Administration Police spokesman, Masoud Mwinyi, The Inspector General, David Kimaiyo cited security concerns as the reason behind the ban and backed the action with chapter 56 of the Public Order Act, which regulates public gatherings.
“All political meetings and processions in the country have been cancelled until further notice”, he said, adding that they had information that criminal elements might take advantage of the rallies to cause mayhem.
“This order is issued against the back drop of various aspects of insecurity which we are currently addressing,” Kimaiyo said.
RALLYING FOR RAILA
The ban on all rallies had been opposed vehemently by CORD leaders and their supporters who felt that the move was a blatant ‘draconian’ act by the government to curtail their plans for the homecoming celebrations of party leader Raila Odinga.
“We have no doubts in our minds that this cowardly act is meant to derail CORD’S activities which are peaceful,” said Moses Wetangula, CORD co-principal.
Raila, who has been abroad for the last three months, is expected in the country on Saturday and CORD leaders have been planning a home coming party for their principal. The team has since last week organized a series of rallies across the country to mobilize their supporters ahead of the big day, where apart from welcoming Raila, they plan to call for change of approach in the mode the Jubilee Government has been handling national issues.
Yesterday, CORD leaders had however vowed to go ahead with their plans regardless of the ban.
“The right to assemble is a constitutional right and not a favour from the government. I am not aware that the constitution has been suspended. Therefore the order by the IG is unconstitutional and is accordingly null and void. The country is not on any emergency or is it?” Kalonzo Musyoka wondered.
Siaya Senator James Orengo said that the current government is a “mere paper tiger” that cannot match the power of the people.
“We have seen this before and we know what to do in this kind of situation. We will not be cowed,” said Orengo.
Jubilee leaders had also yesterday announced their plans to organize a parallel rally on the same day as CORD’s and National Assembly Majority Leader Adan Duale also demanded an explanation from the police regarding the ban.
Quite ironic is that the security concern cited by Kimaiyo only applied to the political rallies and not Madaraka Day celebrations (June 1) which is a public holiday that attracts a large crowd as well, where the president normally officiates.
SOCIAL MEDIA – CONDEMNING KIMAIYO
As expected, Kenyans took to social media to condemn Kimaiyo for the ban making the IG the trending topic on tweeter up to now.
Meanwhile with just two days to go before the much awaited Raila homecoming celebrations, it appears that the mood for CORD is heating up and the wave is just unstoppable. Now trending on tweeter is #BabaWhileYouWereAway dedicated to Raila Odinga.