Kenya bans protests amid standoff
Kenya yesterday banned demonstrations in the business districts of Nairobi and other cities amid a standoff between the ruling party and the opposition over a repeat presidential election.
Internal Security Minister Fred Matiang’i said the ban applied to the central business districts of the capital, the western city of Kisumu and the coastal city of Mombasa.
The organisers of protests would be held personally liable for any damage, he said.
Mombasa and Kisumu are strongholds of opposition support, and Odinga also has strong backing in parts of Nairobi. All three have seen repeated clashes between riot police and opposition supporters in recent weeks.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga were due to go to the polls in a repeat presidential election on October 26, after the Supreme Court nullified Kenyatta’s win in August 8 polls over procedural irregularities.
But this week Odinga announced he was withdrawing from the race, throwing the East African nation into political turmoil.
Odinga’s opposition alliance says the new elections are invalid. They have called for demonstrations demanding electoral reforms.