Raila to IG Koome: Come and arrest me, I’ll be on the frontline
Azimio leader Raila Odinga has challenged Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to arrest him personally as he led a massive protest in Nairobi on Sunday.
Speaking at a Sunday service at Jesus Teaching Ministry in Embakasi, Raila said he was ready to face the police chief in a confrontation over his demands for electoral justice.
“Mr. Koome, stop the threats. You said you would arrest me. I am ready to be arrested. Don’t send the police, come and arrest me yourself. I will be in the front line, let’s meet face to face,” he said.
Raila’s remarks come after IG Koome announced a ban on fresh opposition demonstrations called for Monday, after protests last week degenerated into riots.
“We will not allow violent demonstrations,” Koome told reporters on Sunday.
“The demonstrations they plan tomorrow (Monday) are illegal and will not be allowed,” he said, adding that his force was ready to keep the peace and would arrest anyone carrying offensive weapons.
Raila also accused the police of behaving like colonial forces and being inhumane to the protesters who have been taking to the streets every Monday and Thursday.
“Kenya Police behaves like colonial police. Their lessons are still in the colonial context. They are very inhumane,” he said.
He vowed that the protests will go on until his demands are met by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which he claims rigged the August 9th 2023 general election in favour of President William Ruto.
“Chebukati never published results of the August 9th 2023 general election let constituency as required by law. What he published was result from 47 counties which is not in law. IEBC must open the server,” he said.
His counterpart Martha Karua, also urged the protesters to march peacefully and ignore the threats from the government.
“Even if they have issued threats, let’s not let them enter our heads. We are going to march peacefully,” she said.
“Faith without action is dead. Our constitution has given us the right to protest,” she added.
She also asked President Ruto to respect the constitution and stop intimidating the opposition leaders.
“I want to tell Ruto – before he gets on that plane to Europe, know what our constitution says. You say you can arrest us as leaders – come and arrest me,” she said.