Nairobi Regional Police Commander Adamson Bungei has termed Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition's notification for Monday and Thursday anti-government protests as null and void.
In a statement, Bungei advised Azimio to address their notification to the Officer Commanding Police Station (OCS) of the area where they expect to stage their procession.
“We have procedures on how we serve the letters for protest or picketing, as guided by the law. Under Section 2 of the Public Order Act, it is indicated very clearly who is the regulating officer of the permits to be issued – it is the officer in charge of a police station. At this level of mine, this is a regional command, whereby we dispense services to the police stations,” Bungei said.
“Therefore, in this matter related to the issue of protests, it has to be served to the police station. We’re not saying that we refuse to pick or not, we’re guided by the law that this document needs to be delivered Officer Commanding Police Station, in the area which the proposed procession would be held.”
Submitting their notification to Bungei's office earlier on Wednesday, the chairman of the Azimion Executive Council Wycliffe Oparanya claimed that the coalition was unable to get prescribed forms of notifications.
"We are unable to submit any prescribed form as none is available in any of their stations. Can you please avail us a copy from your office but this serves as an official notice. This is to notify you that we will be holding processions in all the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya this Monday 27th, March 2023 and Thursday 30th March 2023 and every subsequent Monday and Thursday thereafter," Oparanya wrote in the notification to Bungei.
Notify OCS's, Bungei to Azimio
Bungei however maintained that Azimio can only notify respective police stations in charge of the areas where they wish to hold their protests.
“In case it will be a procession, the Officer Commanding Police Station of that area is the one to regulate the business of that procession. Therefore, I advise the team from Azimio to directly go and serve the Officer Commanding Police Station where they want to hold their procession or protest,” Bungei said.
March 21, 2023, opposition leader Raila Odinga said the anti-government protests that began on Monday will be held every Monday and Thursday from next week.
"In response to public demand, we shall now hold protests every Thursday and Monday beginning next week," Raila said.
The former prime minister has listed five reasons for the opposition's calls for peaceful demonstrations, including the high cost of living, electoral injustice, nepotism in state appointments, the sacking of civil servants and defence for democracy.