Police to use lethal force against anti-IEBC protesters
Police on Sunday warned that they would use lethal force to quell demonstrations against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) if need be.
Nairobi County commander Japheth Koome said stern action would be taken against those who plan to take part in Monday’s’ demonstrations, adding that officers engaged to suppress riot or protect persons or property during the protest are justified in using any degree of force, depending on the circumstances.
The warnings were echoed by Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet, who said the National Police Service was only aware of the court order that allowed Cord leaders to hold a rally at Uhuru Park on June 1, and not about the demonstration.
“Our responsibility is to enforce the law as it is. If they disobey the law and go to the streets, we the National Police will do what we are required to do,” he said while addressing journalists at Diani Police Station in Ukunda, Kwale County, on Sunday.
In his statement at a press conference in his office in Nairobi, Mr Koome said an unprecedented number of officers will be deployed following credible intelligence that some people had planned to deliver grenades in Kibera to be used in Monday’s demonstrations.
“We have the details of the car, a Pajero, and the people behind the scheme. Some criminals also plan to take advantage of the situation and engage in criminal activities,” he said.
He, however, did not say why the said individuals had not been arrested or where the said grenades were being kept.
He confirmed having received the notification from the Cord leaders but maintained that they would not allow any demonstrations.
“I received a notification from the Cord Secretariat of their plans to hold anti-IEBC demonstrations. However, we are not going to allow any demonstrations as the matter is in court,” he said.
Mr Boinnet visited Kwale County at a time when insecurity is on the rise, a situation blamed on the existence of Al-Shabaab returnees who have been terrorising areas of Msambweni.
Last week, three members of Nyumba Kumi were killed in Bongwe village by people believed to be members of the terror group.
Mr Boinnet termed the killings regrettable, having taken place in a village that is in the neighbourhood of Diani, a town that mainly depends on the tourism industry.