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Azimio unveil plans to hold demos inside Nairobi’s Central Business District

Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition has unveiled plans to hold demonstrations inside Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) in the coming week.

Leaders of the opposition coalition presented their notice to Nairobi’s Central Police Station Officer Commanding Station (OCS) Mr Moses Mutayi on April 26, 2023.

The coalition which is led by Raila Odinga earlier had earlier announced it would go on with the protests that had been suspended following a provisional political deal between President William Ruto and Mr Odinga to have talks.

In a letter signed by former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, the coalition notified the police of their planned peaceful meetings and processions.

Oparanya, the former Kakamega governor, explained that the coalition will be holding demonstrations in the major streets of Moi Avenue, Kenyatta Avenue, Haile Selassie Avenue and Harambee Avenue.

“The Azimio la Umoja One coalition notifies your office of scheduled peaceful public meetings to take place on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. In the course of the said meetings we intend to submit a written petition to Harambee House, Nairobi,” the statement read in part.

Mr Oparanya also told the police that he had not penned the letter with the aim of seeking permission to hold the demonstrations saying that “none is contemplated under Article 37 of the constitution.”

He asked the OCS Central Police Station to ensure that enough officers are deployed to provide security during the demonstrations.

Since the genesis of the demonstrations, the National Police Service (NPS) has always termed the protests as illegal.

Azimio leaders have never managed to access the CBD since the protests began mainly owing to heavy presence of the police. Instead, Mr Odinga managed to hold rallies in suburbs including Kibera, Kamukunjui, Imara Daima, Kawangware, Pipeline and Doonholm.

This has seen police officers and Azimio la Umoja supporters engage in running battles, leading to injuries, deaths, and loss of property.

Meanwhile, Crime Si Poa an organization that fights matters of crime has condemned the use of extra force by police officers when dispersing crowds during protests saying that it was only worsening the situation.

Mr Peter Ouko the organisation’s boss in a statement sent to media houses said such use of force was undermining democracy and the rule of law.

“There is no doubt that the mass protests are adversely affecting an already battered economy. While we condemn all forms of violent protests, we reiterate that reports of police using disproportionate force in dispersing demonstrators including in loss of life, only escalates the situation,” he said.

He also asked political leaders fond of spreading propaganda to stop doing so as it was only worsening the situation even further.

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