The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Japhet Koome on Sunday 26th March banned the planned countrywide protests by the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition.
Instead he urged Kenyans to go on freely with their lawful businesses tomorrow Monday.
Addressing the media at the National Police Service Headquarters, the IG called upon Officers to carry on with their work, without fear or intimidation from any person (s), further assured Kenyans that the Country is safe, and that Police remain steadfast in their duty to serve and protect the Nation.
Koome said the police will take more photos during the protests. “We will take action against anyone seen with offensive weapons or destroying property. It does not matter where or which year the photos were taken, a criminal is a criminal” He said.
Saying some of them have never even touched a million shillings, Koome said it was unfair for businesspeople to be declared bankrupt because of demonstrations and posed “Did you see how they raided a supermarket during Azimio protests last week and someone lost Ksh. 20m?
During the Press Brief, the IG was accompanied by the Ag. DIG Kenya Police Service, Mr. Abdallah Komesha, Director Personnel APS, Mr. Davis Lomwatu, SAIG, the Deputy Commandant GSU, Mr. Omar Bashane, AIG and Regional Police Commander Nairobi, Mr. Adamson Bungei, CP.
In a rejoinder, Azimio leaders Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, Eugene Wamalwa have told off Koome and reminded him that he has now powers to ban peaceful demonstrations.
Speaking at a Sunday service at Jesus Teaching Ministry in Embakasi, Odinga challenged Koome to arrest him personally adding that 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,” Said the opposition leader.