National Super Alliance (Nasa) moved to court Thursday to stop the government from deploying the military ahead of elections.
In a case certified urgent by Justice George Odunga, Nasa argues that the government has, on several occasions, made public pronouncements to the effect that the military might be deployed to areas mapped as hotspots before, during and after elections.
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Through lawyer Jackson Awele, Nasa said that if the government is not stopped, the move amounts to overthrow of civilian authority and, by extension, the constitutional set-up of the country.
Mr Awele said the move sets a bad precedent, and thus the Interior and Defence ministries ought to be stopped.
While agreeing that Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) may assist in restoration of peace or in cooperation with other national security organs assist in protection against internal and external threats to Kenya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and situations of emergency and disasters, this can only happen with the approval of the National Assembly.
Nasa said Article 241(3)(c) unequivocally prescribes that KDF may be deployed to restore peace in any part of the country affected by unrest or instability only with the approval of the National Assembly.
But, as at now, the opposition coalition argues that there is no approval by the National Assembly authorising the two ministries to deploy KDF for national security purposes.
The alliance also argues that deployment of the military to the so-called hotspots might end up intimidating voters and deny them the right to vote freely.