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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Kindiki Issues Instructions for Anti-Finance Bill 2024 Protests

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki issued directives to protesters ahead of planned #rejectfinancebill2024 demonstrations today, June 25, 2024.

Speaking Monday evening, Kindiki affirmed that Kenyans have a Constitutional right to peacefully assemble, demonstrate, picket, and present petitions to authorities.

However, Kindiki emphasized that while exercising the right under Article 37, protesters should not infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others.

Those exercising the Article 37 right to assemble and picket must do so within Constitutional and legal parameters,” he stated.

The CS insisted that protesters must maintain peace and refrain from carrying weapons during their assembly, picketing, and petition presentations.

He stressed that Article 37 guarantees the right to demonstrate, not to incite violence or provoke riots.

“Protesters must conduct themselves in a manner that does not disrupt public order or cause harm or inconvenience to non-participating members of the public,” he added.

Kindiki outlined that protesters are required to notify the police of their intention to picket, including specifying routes and timings of their activities.

“They must conclude their activities by sunset or 6:30pm, whichever is earlier, in accordance with the Public Order Act, Cap 57 of the laws of Kenya,” he specified.

Additionally, CS Kindiki cautioned that protesters must not provoke, assault, obstruct law enforcement officers, or members of the public.

He instructed that protesters should adhere to police guidance and security measures to safeguard themselves from non-protesters and maintain orderly conduct.

“They must refrain from obstructing, vandalizing, blocking, or damaging any private or public property,” he concluded.

Kindiki emphasized that protesters must comply with Kenyan laws, including the Protected Areas Act, which restricts access to critical infrastructure for national security reasons.

He stated that the police will instruct demonstrators on areas they are prohibited from accessing under the law.

“They must not access critical assets for the supply of power, water or other social amenities in a manner that is likely to interfere with the enjoyment of these amenities by members of the public,” Kindiki cautioned.

Additionally, he warned protesters against disrupting non-protesters’ private activities, as well as roads, railways, ports, or air transport.

Kindiki underscored the importance of upholding the rule of law and maintaining public order regardless of the issues or grievances.

“For the avoidance of doubt, non-protesters and other members of the public who hold a contrary to that of protesters are bound by the same limitations. They must exercise their rights to disagree if at all in the same manner and circumstances,” he added.

The CS assured that national security agencies will enforce the laws impartially but firmly.

“No form of lawlessness will be tolerated,” he affirmed.

Kindiki mentioned that previous protests had been exploited to vandalize property and disrupt others’ activities.

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