Murkomen invites police to apprehend road vandalism perpetrators
Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen has asked both the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to apprehend those who vandalised roads during protests on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
This follows countrywide protests called by the Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Alliance, in which chaotic scenes were witnessed including destruction of property and road structures.
Destruction of property
"The Ministry of Roads and Transport wishes to condemn acts of vandalism and destruction of public infrastructure, built with taxpayers' money, committed by supporters of the Azimio coalition.
"We have asked the Office of the Director of Criminal Investigations, through the Office of the Inspector General of Police, to carry out thorough investigations and ensure the perpetrators of such heinous acts, many of whom were captured on CCTV cameras and by the media, are apprehended and punished," Murkomen said in a statement.
Murkomen also said that the leaders should be held accountable if their supporters destroy properties.
"As a country, we cannot normalise such acts of violence, lawlessness, and vandalism committed on the pretext of exercising political rights.
"Going forward, organisers of demonstrations must guarantee that their supporters will not repeat such acts of lawlessness, failing which they will be held personally responsible for losses incurred through theft, vandalism, and the destruction of public infrastructure and property," he added.
Kamukunji rally cancelled
Azimio had to cancel their rally that had been planned for Kamukunji Grounds after its leader, Raila Odinga, claimed goons had been deployed and ordered to shoot at the protestors.
"Late last night, we received intelligence of a most heinous plan by Kenya Kwanza to ferry armed goons who would attack peaceful attendees of our rally in Kamkunji. These goons had express orders to shoot directly into the crowd while enjoying police protection. Early this morning, our crew who had been sent to set up the stage at Kamukunji were attacked and their equipment damaged," Raila said as he announced the cancellation of the rally.
He vowed that their protests would go on and nothing would stop them.
"It will be trial by fire many times, but we have been through trial by fire before. So, we soldier on. As Kenyans, we have a duty to liberate ourselves, as we have always done. It has never been easy. It will not be easy, but it has to be done," he added.
The protests went on despite President William Ruto's warning on Tuesday, July 11. The Head of State warned that the government would not allow the loss of lives through protests organised by leaders opposing his regime.
"It is not right for a few people to think they can disorganize the republic to sabotage and cause mayhem and destruction of property. There is no type of politics that leads to loss of lives; that is anarchy, and we will not allow it. I will not allow any other Kenyan to lose their life so that another person can satisfy his political ambition; that is not going to happen," Ruto said.