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Kenyan Police Inspector General Japheth Koome Threatens to Arrest Raila Odinga and Azimio Leaders over the Azimio Protests
IG Koome threatened to arrest anyone and everyone who takes part in the protests, regardless of their status in society.
Kenyan Police Inspector General Japheth Koome has threatened to arrest Raila Odinga and Azimio leaders for calling for the Azimio protests. The inspector general is infuriated by Azimio's standing strong and declaring protests every Monday, with the recent slated to be taking part today. Read more about Maandamano Mondays below.
IG Japheth Koome: I Do Not Authorize Maandamano Mondays
IG Koome said that he does not authorize the Azimio protests, now popularly known as 'Maandamano Mondays' which translates to Protest Mondays. IG Koome threatened to arrest anyone and everyone who takes part in the protests, regardless of their status in society. He also admitted to withdrawing security personnel for Azimio leaders.
Police Ban Azimio Protest:
Inspector General says planned protest has been banned
Koome: I have not allowed any protest march
Koome says stern action to be taken against protesters
Koome says security withdrawn for protest leaders#SundayLive @KoinangeJeff @VickyRubadiri pic.twitter.com/n0mfCkZd0f
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) March 26, 2023
The threat was directly aimed at Raila Odinga and Azimio officials, as they are the ones who've called for the nationwide anti-government protests. The Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) organization, in a statement, vehemently condemned Koome's remarks saying he has no legal mandate whatsoever to deny Kenyans their right to freedom of expression.
He has no such powers. pic.twitter.com/iKrCnoiptR
— Robert ALAI (@RobertAlai) March 26, 2023
Raila: Come and Arrest Me Yourself Koome
Azimio leader Raila Odinga, in response, dared IG Japheth Koome to come and arrest him himself. Raila, in a Sunday church service in Nairobi, dared Koome to come and arrest him himself and not send anyone. Raila even made a joke that Koome is scared to come himself and will instead opt to use police officers to intimidate Azimio officials.
We've joined the congregation at Jesus Teaching Ministry in Embakasi for Sunday service. pic.twitter.com/MqBJ7sZsdR
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 26, 2023
Martha Karua: We Don't Need the Police's Permission to Protest
In the same service, Azimio One Kenya's deputy leader, and Raila's running mate in the 2022 general elections, Martha Karua said that Japheth Koome and the police have no business giving permission or denying it when it comes to protests. Karua said that permission to protest is given by God and is allowed and facilitated by the constitution. She urged Koome to read chapter 34 of the Consitution of Kenya which gives citizens the right to peacefully picket.
💡 Picketing is a form of protest where people congregate outside a location where an event is taking place or outside a place of work that they are protesting against.
Raila: There's a Ploy by DP Rigathi to Attack Protestors
Raila Odinga yesterday also made a statement alleging that deputy president Rigathi Gachagua was masterminding a ploy to attack protestors by mounting an anti-protestor force and arming them. According to Baba, as Raila is popularly known, Gachagua has mounted a command center and armory in two houses, one belonging to a former minister or cabinet secretary and the other belonging to a serving CS.
Gachagua Allegedly Arming and Deploying Youths to Cause Mayhem Against the Azimio Protests
As per the statement, the DP is arming youths with dangerous weapons including state-of-the-art guns, and pangas (machetes) to undertake the operation. Baba says that several youths will be deployed countrywide and armed, with the sole purpose of attacking protestors who take part in the Azimio protests.
Mr Rigathi Gachagua planning mayhem against protestors. pic.twitter.com/0unlVsX8qF
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 26, 2023
The statement even says that the weapons are to be ferried using ambulances and that several matatus (local public transport minivans) and buses have already been booked to ferry youths to several parts of the country, including parts of Nairobi and Nyanza.
Raila: Several Azimio Leaders Being Targeted
Raila Odinga, in the statement, also says that several leaders belonging to the Azimio coalition will also be the targets of the armed youths, including Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, and Jubilee Chairman Jeremiah Kioni. Baba also says that several rebel Azimio MPs have been deployed in support of the sinister ploy, especially in Western Kenya. Baba says that he and Azimio will remain steadfast in their anti-government protests.
We are standing together in solidarity against any form of injustice. pic.twitter.com/Q4RwIvtDvv
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 24, 2023