Kenya’s police chief Sunday announced a ban on opposition protests scheduled for Monday. The ban comes in the wake of last week’s protests, which devolved into riots. South African-based news channel eNCA reported that Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome said, “We will not allow violent demonstrations.”
The protests are scheduled across the country for Monday, when Kenyan President William Ruto will be in Berlin, Germany. The Star, a Kenya-based news publication, reported Koome stated, “There will be more personnel all over the county to ensure safety for all. We will not be intimidated by anyone.” Meanwhile, Ruto claimed that anyone who attempts to disrupt business will be dealt with accordingly.
Koome and Ruto’s comments come days after March 20 protests, where similar anti-government protesters were met with violence, tear gas and water cannons. In Kisumu West, Kenya, police shot and killed a Maseno University student, William Mayange, whose mother is demanding justice. As reported on by JURIST Staff Correspondent in Kenya, Aynsley Genga:
They did not care if they were talked by tear gas or even water cannons, the people were ready to battle it out if it meant their voices and cries would be heard by someone […] It was a truly horrifying incident and I pray those responsible for the act will be brought to justice.
Despite the violence, rival opposition leader Raila Odinga has remained steadfast in his commitment to the demonstrations. On March 23, he tweeted to his followers seeking their support. Odinga said, “We call upon all patriotic Kenyans to come out in large numbers on Monday, 27th March 2023, for the mother of all demonstrations and to do so peacefully.”