CORD has vowed to defy protest ban, insisting its regular protests against electoral commission must go on despite it being banned by the state.
A leader of opposition alliance Norman Magaya said the protest ban by the internal security minister is not within the confines of the constitution. He described the ban as an attempt to suspend the constitution, which stipulates that rights and freedoms are inborn and are not granted by the state.
He added that the ban does not conform with the court order which charged police to provide security to demonstrators. According to his alliance – the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) – there is no law that the internal security minister can rely on to ban their demonstrations.
Early Friday, Cord told the Nairobi county police commander of their plan to go on with” peaceful demonstrations “. The state on the other hand has sworn not to allow destructive demonstrations that will threaten property or human life.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has said on Friday:
“Our politics will remain based on issues that will make a difference in the lives of Kenyans. We have set up our dialogue team. Bring on yours,”.
The President specified the condition under which opposition can go on with their protest, saying they will be allowed to demonstrate provided they “do not engage in violence”.
The long anticipated dialogue between Cord and Jubilee was derailed following Cord’s rejection of Uhuru’s proposal to create a joint committee that will talk on electoral reforms within the parliament.
Jubilee on Thursday formed a committee to deal with the stalemate but the Cord coalition rejected the proposal. But, the opposition listed nine obligations which the government must meet before IEBC talk can commence.
Cord said it had nodded to Jubilee’s suggestion to form a four member team to deal with some issues before talks can start, claims that Jubilee has denied.
The opposition had said it would increase the number of its weekly protests against the IEBC if the government does not heed to dialogue calls. This means that by next week, the nationwide demonstrations are expected to take place on Monday 13 and Thursday 15.
Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery on Tuesday said protests have been banned “to avert further violence and destruction of property, and loss of life”. The ban came after Kisumu saw two more deaths with scores injured including a six-year-old boy during demos on June 6.