The Kenyan government has banned all demonstrations in the country including those by the opposition against the country’s electoral body.
The announcement by Security Minister Joseph Nkaissery on Tuesday, is aimed at saving lives and protecting properties.
The move comes a day after at least one person was killed during a demonstration in the western city of Kisumu. 6 others including a child were injured when police tried to disperse the demonstrators.
The boy, identified as 5-year-old Jeremy was hit in the back by a police bullet in Kisumu and was taken to hospital.
Nkaissery said the chaos which has characterized the demonstrations was not within the parameters set by the constitutional court for holding demonstrations.
“It is extremely dangerous for anybody to challenge the government decision. The consequences are grave,” Nkaissery is quoted as saying.
The opposition, led by former prime minister, Raila Odinga has over the past six weeks staged demonstrations at least once a week to demand the dissolution of the electoral commission which they say is biased and corrupt.
But the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has condemned the Security Minister’s comments saying it has a democratic and constitutional right to demonstrate.
“Clearly … Nkaissery is living in the past. His utterances smack of an old colonial order that is laden with the impunity of the past,” said the Chief Executive Officer at the CORD secretariat, Norman Magaya in a statement.
Magaya said the group would go ahead with its planned demonstrations next week on Monday and Thursday saying “unlawful orders must be treated with contempt”.