The National Police Service has assured the Azimio coalition of adequate security during their planned rallies in protest of the suspension of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners (IEBC) officials.
In a dispatch shared on their official social media platforms, the service stated that it is aware of the planned rallies by the opposition outfit scheduled for 7th and 12th December 2022 in Nairobi.
Press Statement on political rally by Azimio Party on December 7, 2022. pic.twitter.com/csTnxiB4v3— National Police Service-Kenya (@NPSOfficial_KE) December 6, 2022
"In respect of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 under Article 37 which provides that every person has the right to peaceful gathering, demonstration and picketing, the law further provides under Article 33(3) of the Constitution in exercising the freedom of expression, every person shall respect the right of others.
"In this regard, the National Police Service will provide adequate security for the planned rallies, and we call upon all members in attendance to maintain peace. However, any breach of peace shall be dealt with in accordance with the law," the communique read in part.
Kindiki assures Azimio of security
The assurance by the National Police Service comes hours after Interior Secretary Kithure Kindiki issued a similar pledge during a security meeting in Laikipia county.
The CS noted that security remains the first priority for all Kenyans adding that the government is committed to ensuring protesters will be safe.
Kindiki noted that although demos are allowed in the constitution, protestors will not be allowed to carry any form of weapons.
“Mambo ya maandamano ni haki ya kikatiba, nitatuma polisi wawalinde. Naenda kesho niitishe programme.(Demonstrations are constitutional and I'm assuring you of security. Provide the schedules,” Kithure Kindiki told Azimio.
This comes barely days after Azimio announced they will hold parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations on December 12, 2022, to protest what its leadership terms a violation of the Constitution by the Kenya Kwanza administration.
Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Monday, December 5, Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga and Martha Karua said the "public consultations with patriots" will be held at Jacaranda Gardens in Nairobi.
Raila said the rally will be peaceful and called on President William Ruto's administration not to interfere with the meeting.
“On the 12th of December, we are going to Jacaranda Gardens in Embakasi, not Kamukunji. We will be celebrating Jamhuri Day with Kenyan patriots and it is also going to be a very peaceful congregation. No protests, no picketing, although that is also guaranteed by the constitution of Kenya,” Raila said.
“If we wanted to do a demonstration or protest, we would just inform the police to provide security and do it, but we are not demonstrating or engaging in any act of thuggery and hooliganism and no property is going to be destroyed. The government should not use this as an excuse to bring thugs there to try to disrupt this function.”