Azimio to arrest ármed non-uniformed police officers during protests
The Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition has vowed to treat armed non-uniformed police officers who attend their anti-government protests as thugs by arresting them.
In a letter to Inspector General Japheth Koome dated March 22, 2023, the chairman of the Azimion Executive Council Wycliffe Oparanya asked the National Police Service to provide adequate security to all demonstrators across the 47 counties.
"This is a notification to enable the police provide adequate security to the demonstrators. By this notice; kindly provide adequate security. Further to this; we put police on notice that we will allow only uniformed police to bear arms; plain clothes in arms will be dealt with as thugs and hired goons and committed to civilian arrests as allowed per the law," Oparanya said.
Oparanya lamented that Azimio was unable to notify all police stations due to lack of prescribed forms of notifications.
"We are unable to submit any prescribed form as none is available in any of their stations. Can you please avail us a copy from your office but this serves as an official notice. This is to notify you that we will be holding processions in all the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya this Monday 27th, March 2023 and Thursday 30" March 2023 and every subsequent Monday and Thursday thereafter," Oparanya wrote.
"We intend to submit petitions to county commanders; sub-county commanders and all other state offices countrywide as part of the processions. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not an application for permission as none is required under Article 37," he added.
Azimio protests to be held twice a week
On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, opposition leader Raila Odinga said the anti-government protests that began on Monday will be held every Monday and Thursday from next week.
"In response to public demand, we shall now hold protests every Thursday and Monday beginning next week," Raila said.
At the same time, Raila condemned what he termed as police brutality on Azimio supporters protesting against the high cost of living in the country.
"Very unfortunately, during this otherwise peaceful process, many of the demonstrators got hurt and at least two innocent Kenyans were killed in cold blood by the police. We pass sincere condolences to families that lost loved ones to police brutality. We will stand with those families in all ways, including pursuing justice on behalf of their loved ones," Raila stated.
"We will ensure that all those responsible are held to account for the lives that were cut short and the pains of those who got injured."
Raila also claimed that there was an attempt on his life and that of Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka during the Monday demos.
Raila also said he will institute legal action against Nairobi County Police Commander Adamson Bungei for allowing police brutality during the coalition's demonstrations.
"We are going for individual responsibility and culpability against officers who acted against the constitution. So far, we have a case to file individual charges against Mr Adamson Bungei, the Nairobi police chief.
"We will press those charges, locally and internationally. We will make Mr Bungei and his enablers understand that the days when regimes could brutalize and butcher citizens with impunity are long gone," he said.
Raila maintained that the Azimio protests were peaceful and legal, insisting that the use of force by the police was unjustified.