Kenya bans city-centre protests
NAIROBI: Kenyan authorities banned protests in central Nairobi and other hot spots as they tried to keep a lid on mounting political turmoil in the build-up to a repeat presidential vote.
The order, issued yesterday, covered business districts in Nairobi, the western city of Kisumu and the port of Mombasa – the scenes of repeated demonstrations since the Supreme Court annulled the last vote in August, citing irregularities.
The main opposition, which has held rallies calling for electoral reforms and the sacking of vote officials, said it would take to the streets again today, and on a daily basis from Monday, despite the ban.
“The protests are covered by the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. We do not hold the protests as a favour by the state,” Dennis Onyango, the spokesman for opposition leader Raila Odinga, said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose August election victory was annulled by the court ruling, is due to stand again against Odinga on October 26.
But this week Odinga announced he was withdrawing from the race, because of failure to reform the election board. – Reuters