Vihiga politician accuse police of denying locals right to protest

The police department has been accused of applying excessive force in preventing residents of Vihiga County from participating in weekly demonstrations called by National Super Alliance (NASA).

Nominated Member of County Assembly (MCA) Mrs. Violet Mbagada made the remarks in Mbale town in a press briefing on Friday evening where local politicians blamed the security officers of denying NASA supporters their constitutional right to picket.

Mrs. Mbagara claimed that whereas protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in parties of several counties such as Kakamega, Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa, the same did not happen in Vihiga, which was considered a NASA stronghold.

We are disappointed by security officers’ use of unnecessary force to prevent our supporters from joining their counterparts countrywide in publicly agitating for a free and fair presidential repeat poll, stated Mrs. Mbagada.

The local leader insisted that NASA was not ready to participate in the October 26 repeat presidential elections under amended electoral laws.

Security officers, including administration and regular police and prison warders who had been deployed to major towns of Vihiga County ensured the planned demonstration failed to materialize in the region.

The officers thwarted efforts by NASA supporters to throng Mbale, Majengo, Chavakali and Luanda towns and major trading centers.

We will not tolerate unruly individuals to disrupt normal daily routines under the guise of peaceful demonstrations, Vihiga County Police Commander Mrs. Beatrice Gachago told Kenya News Agency.

She accused organisers of the planned countrywide demos of failing to secure permits to hold the same through Officers Commanding Police Stations (OCSs).

None of my OCSs across the county had been served with notice of the same, hence the action taken by our security officers, said Mrs. Gachago, adding securing permits for peaceful demonstrations enabled police officers to provide security.

The region was relatively calm throughout Friday.

Source: Kenya News Agency