Kenya: President warns that demonstrations “will not take place”

Kenyan President William Ruto announced that the demonstrations planned this week by the opposition have been banned, the last of which ended in clashes and at least nine deaths.
“Demonstrations will not take place in our country”, declared the Kenyan Head of State, who was visiting Nakuru county, 150 kilometres from the capital Nairobi. “We will not accept anarchy in the Republic of Kenya”, he insisted.
“We will not allow” opposition leader Raila Odinga and former president Uhuru Kenyatta, who supports him, “to hold our country hostage by provoking violence, chaos and anarchy”, threatened Mr Ruto. However, the head of state said he was ready to “meet” the veteran opposition leader.
On last Wednesday, banned rallies organized by Raila Odinga in several towns were marred by looting and clashes between demonstrators and the police, with the former throwing stones and the latter firing tear gas and live ammunition in response. Raila Odinga’s Azimio alliance is protesting against new taxes and the results of the 2022 presidential election, which Mr Odinga continues to regard as “stolen”.
Azimio has called for three new days of mobilization this week, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the end of Wednesday’s rallies, more than 300 people were arrested, according to the authorities, and nine people killed, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), basing itself on a police count.