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Martha Karua claps back at DCI for calling Azimio protests ‘illegal’

Martha Karua has slammed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for terming Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition demonstrations as illegal.

Her remarks came after DCI apologised for using old images to depict the chaos that happened during last Monday’s protests by Azimio la Umoja.

In the public apology DCI said there had been a mix-up of images in their prior communication, which was meant to appeal for information regarding the whereabouts of criminal suspects involved in Monday’s illegal demonstrations.

Also read: Disinformation – DCI owns up to sharing fake photos of Azimio maandamano

But in a quick rejoinder, Ms Karua maintained that last Monday’s protests were legal as per Kenya’s constitution.

“What do you mean by illegal demonstrations? Familiarise yourselves with the constitution of Kenya 2010 and respect people’s right to peaceful protest,” Karua tweeted.

A day before the protests, Nairobi Regional Commander, Adamson Bungei, had stated that protests were illegal and that the opposition coalition did not notify the authorities three days earlier as required by law.

“You are allowed to do all that is allowed by the constitution, you shall notify the regulatory officer of such intent, at least three days but not more than 14 days before the proposed date of such a meeting or procession. Therefore, any person that will participate in the planned demonstration is notified to do so peacefully as guided by the constitution of Kenya,” Bungei said.

Regardless, the Raila Odinga-led coalition went on staged a massive protest that practically shut down most business activities in Nairobi on a day of chaos characterised by running street battles between opposition supporters and anti-riot police officers.

Also read: Supermarket says it lost Sh15m during Azimio protests amid witchcraft claims

Thereafter, DCI published images on their official Twitter account seeking information regarding the whereabouts of individuals whom they said were behind destruction of property during the protest. But the agency has now owned up to using old photos of incidents that were unrelated to the Azimio protests.

Investigations by Taifa Leo showed that some of the photos used were from long ago and cannot be whatsoever linked to the riots.

Further, some of the photos were taken in other countries while some photos were manipulated using Google Reverse Image Search technology to give a fake illustration of the real situation on the ground.

For instance, the photo that showed a man in a white cap throwing a teargas canister was taken on January 17, 2008, in Kibera, Nairobi. That photo is owned by Getty Images and was taken during the deadly 2007 post-election violence at the slum.