Azimio leaders notify police of planned biweekly protests, demand security

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party has on Wednesday notified the police that it will hold nationwide protests against President William Ruto’s government every Monday and Thursday beginning March 27.

The letter was delivered at the Nairobi Regional Police Headquarters by Aimio leaders Jeremiah Kioni, Wycliffe Oparanya, George Wajackoya, and Eugene Wamalwa.

In the letter to the Inspector General of the National Police Service, Japhet Koome, the chairman of the Azimio Executive Council, Wycliffe Oparanya, stated that as part of the processions, the coalition intends to submit petitions to county commanders, sub-county commanders, and all other state offices across the country.

“We are unable to submit any prescribed form as none is available in any of their stations. Can you please avail us a copy from your office this serves as an official notice? This is to notify you that we will be holding processions in all the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya this Monday 27th, March 2023 and Thursday 30th March 2023 and every subsequent Monday and Thursday thereafter,” the letter read in part.

Oparanya said that the letter was not an application for permission as none is required under Article 37 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to assemble, demonstrate, picket and present petitions to public authorities.

He also stated that the coalition will only allow uniformed police officers to carry weapons during the protests and that plainclothes officers carrying weapons will be treated as thugs and hired goons, and will be subjected to civilian arrests as permitted by law.

“This is a notification to enable the police to provide adequate security to the demonstrators. By this notice; kindly provide adequate security,” Oparanya wrote.

The Azimio coalition has been vocal in criticizing Ruto’s administration for, among other things, failing to lower the cost of living, not opening the IEBC servers, and ethnicity and nepotism in state appointments.

On Monday, the coalition held resistance protests, which were met with police resistance. Raila claimed that during the Monday demonstrations, there was an attempt on his and Musyoka’s lives.

“We will not relent until we restore democracy and justice in this country,” Raila said.

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