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Protests before, after polls banned in Kisumu

The public will not be allowed to conduct any protests in Kisumu during and after elections.

Kisumu County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim banned any protests citing security breach witnessed in the past.

Mr Maalim said the move is part of the security preparedness his team had put in place ahead of the next week’s elections.

Addressing journalists in his office after a county security intelligence committee meeting, Mr Maalim said the ban will stop criminals from taking advantage to destroy property within the town.

“We have witnessed in the past that hooligans take advantage of peaceful demonstrations to cause havoc in the city, this is what we are avoiding,” said the commissioner.

PEACEFUL

Though he said peaceful demonstrations not related to elections will be allowed and those involved will have to follow strict requirements such as submitting an itinerary to the police before getting a go-ahead.

“We can only allow demos that have been booked and the authorities notified on the date, time and the routes of the demonstrations,” said Mr Maalim.

Mr Maalim argued the notice will allow the police to mobilise enough personnel to deal with any eventualities.

Normally, demonstrators are by law required to submit date and time of intended demonstrations and do not need to be granted permission to start those protests.

LOOT

But Maalim, said previous experience has shown peaceful protests almost never end in peace.

Maalim said security officers have mapped out areas prone to violence in the county.

Mr Maalim said already they have received intelligence reports of people planning to loot shops.

“We have reports of people saying the anti-IEBC demos were a rehearsal and that this time they may loot more than they have done in the previous protests. It is because of this that we are banning demos,” he said.

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