In Nairobi today the Coalition of Reform and Democracy (CORD) have yet again decided to Demonstrate against the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). As the Kenyan National Police Force has come out with their mambas and their specialized anti-riot vehicles that the Government ordered from China recently; as well as they have prepared and shot tear-gas at fellow citizens.
CORD Leaders addressing supporters along Moi avenue Nairobi before storming IEBC Offices shortly.
What the Police says:
“Police now say they have intelligence reports that a section of Opposition supporters intend to carry lethal weapons during Monday’s protest at Anniversary Towers against IEBC officials” (Capital FM Kenya, 09.05.2016).
The ones present at the Demonstration:
“Cord leaders and supporters defied warnings by police and carried on with their planned protests against the IEBC on Monday. In Nairobi, hundreds of supporters marched to the commission’s Anniversary Towers offices despite warnings by police. Among leaders present were Suba MP John Mbadi (ODM national chairman), Kitutu Masaba’s Timothy Bosire and Nyando MP Fred Outa. Others were woman representatives Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Florence Mutua (Busia), Nominated Senator Agnes Zani and Awendo MP Gerald K’Opiyo. GSU and regular police were deployed to the premises, which they sealed off. In Kondele, Kisumu , demonstrators waved twigs while others carried a banner reading “IEBC must go!”, but they were later dispersed by police.”
The Police have already said to the Media that the Demonstrators are drunk and cannot be taken serious. As they Police have come with full-gear and full-fledged with tear-gas and cars as the clips and pictures. Contingent of police officers deployed to maintain law and order as opposition leaders and their supporters vowed to stay put as they pile pressure on electoral body to be disbanded.
“KENYA-Cord supporters on Monday defied government warnings and turned up for their protests seeking to kick out IEBC commissioners from office. In Nairobi, the Opposition supporters started converging outside Anniversary Towers from as early as 7am.The situation was the same in Kisumu town Police officers deployed to guard the electoral body’s premises” (Wish FM, 09.05.2016).
“Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome claimed that some protesters had planned to cause chaos and had armed themselves with crude weapons. He said intelligence reports showed the protesters were planning to attack IEBC officials and that they will be treated as criminals. “We will not allow a few people to cause violence in the city,” Koome said.There was heavy police presence at the Anniversary Towers where IEBC is headquartered” (X News Kenya, 09.05.2016).
The way the Police dispersed the demonstrators by the police officers who used Water Canon and teargas canister to keep them at bay. So the Police officers harassed the peaceful demonstrators with violence. The tear-gas even covered upper-Nairobi after the Police decided to disperse the crowd. So 30 minutes after the Police went in, the streets around the Anniversary Tower was the same and the streets empty of demonstrators as the Police and Japheth Koome of Nairobi Police must be happy.
This will not stop here, and the Pre-Election Violence and the amount of tear-gas spread against the opposition. Who should have the right to question the Electoral Commission whom seems to be more a close ally to the Ruling Party and the Ruling Elite instead of being truly independent as it should be and represent all parties not just the Jubilee or the ones who have control of government right now! Peace.
FDC condemns the unexplained arresting as in some cases disappearance of some opposition supporters. This was billed as an election that would be devoid of intimidation and violence, but it’s far from that. Add to that the unfortunate remarks attributed to candidate Museveni over the weekend that he would not leave power are of concern.
In December, while campaigning in Namutumba he said he cannot leave the oil money to other people and that he will go to the bush. That in itself is an intimidating remark, and a well calculated one at that, aimed at causing despondency among the population. But we, as FDC, urge our supporters all over the country to disregard Museveni’s remarks. We urge our supporters to continue the mobilization exercise. Recruit more people and let’s overwhelm Museveni when the elections come. If we all turn up and vote, he will have no choice but to go.
The police have been quick to condemn Dr Besigye’s defiance campaign but when Museveni makes remarks that could be criminal in nature, they look the other way. We believe that the police, together with the army are being complicit in abetting this crime.
This young man here, Senate Karoota Kakwebe, a coordinator of FDC in Nyakashashara, in Kirihura district has been in hiding for his life because UPDF soldiers, who under the law are prohibited from participating in partisan politics, have made it their preoccupation to harass and intimidate him. As he will tell you, a certain Major Alice Kukundakwe vandalized our offices carrying away our files and plucked down Dr Besigye’s posters. This case was reported to the police (Kaguta Rd police detach) for criminal trespass and threatening violence (DDB Ref 05/06/01/2016). Instead of the police carrying out inquiries, the guns were literally turned on Senate Karoota Kakwebe. He has had to flee his home because he is a wanted man for reporting a case. There are hundreds of such stories countrywide.
But as FDC we despise the methods of intimidation, violence that NRM with the help of the army and police are meting out to our supporters. We shall not look on with folded arms. That is why we shall use our Power 10 structures as well as other volunteers to protect our interests.
For a man who spent five years in the bush, Museveni is such a scared. Although it comes as no surprise that Mueveni ducked out of the planned presidential debate, it is disappointing. It is a clear signal that he has nothing to offer. Museveni feared to be exposed for the spent force he is. The claims by his handlers that he would rather spend the time talking to his voters in the villages, is weak. To claim that his support is in the countryside is a fallacy that he has perpetuated over the years. The fact is Museveni cannot debate. He fears to be challenged. It is also a slap in the face to the prominent members of society who put in their time and resources to ensure that the debate happens. Like Dr Besigye said over the weekend, he is available to debate with Museveni whenever he finds the time.
The Independent Coalition, whose Presidential Candidate is Mr. Mabirizi Elton Joseph have agreed to on a Vote Protection arrangement to ensure Free and Fair Elections. We are thrashing out the details which we shall share at a later date.
Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa