Ngunjiri in court, wants Boinnet to draft clear code for protests
He says he has a general draft of the code of conduct state should come up with, which allows full exercise of fundamental rights for protesters and non-protesters
An activist has moved to court to compel Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to formulate a code of conduct for conveners of demonstrations.
Ngunjiri Wambugu says Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has failed to strictly enforce the explicit provisions of the Public Order Act during protests or to formulate policy guidelines on matters regarding rights under Article 37 of the constitution.
He said he has already developed a general draft of the code the state should come up with. Wambugu said this will allow full exercise of fundamental rights of both demonstrators and non-demonstrators, without either party infringing on the other, or the state violating citizens’ rights.
Under a certificate of urgency, he said it is possible to peaceably assemble and demonstrate without infringing on other people’s rights and fundamental freedoms.
Wambugu said during the recent anti-IEBC demonstrations, a good number of protesters were captured in print and electronic media armed with crude weapons such as stones, looting shops and destroying property. He said this interfered with fundamental rights.
“There is lack of accountability from the police and the organisers of demonstrations expected in an open and democratic society in the event an individual’s rights and freedoms are contravened,” Wambugu said.
He said lawful directions can be issued to the organisers of demonstrations without limiting the right to assemble and demonstrate. The activist wants an order directing the respondents to formulate a code of conduct for conveners of demonstrations.
The code should include detailed explanation of how conveners intend to ensure non-demonstrators are not adversely affected by demonstrations and a clear line of responsibility of who is liable in case of loss of life or property. Wambugu’s petition is based on the recent Cord’s anti-IEBC protests in major towns across the country.
He said in most cases, the protesters did not carry out the demonstrations peaceably and were armed with crude weapons, contrary to the law. Wambugu said peace and tranquility were always disrupted during the protests.
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