Police in Kenya on Friday clashed opposition party supporters who have defied a government ban on political protests.
The protests are being held against the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission (IEBC) by members of the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa).
The ban announced on Thursday was being enforced in the central business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, with the government warning to deal with opposition political party leaders should the ban be ignored.
Daily Nation on Friday reported that in some cities, anti-riot police were deployed to the streets to enforce the ban by firing teargas to disperse Nasa supporters.
Kenya’s Interior minister Fred Matiangi said on Thursday that the ban on protests was to protect citizens and property.
The minister cited Section 56 of the country’s Public Order Act to back the decision after a National Security Advisory Committee meeting.
The decision “was due to the clear and imminent danger, for the time being”, the minister said.
Dr Matiangi said Kenya “cannot go on this way. It is unfortunate to see people’s cars being smashed, property being destroyed in the guise of a peaceful demonstrations. We must respect the law,”
Leader of Nasa and opposition leader, Raila Odinga has already announced his decision to quit the October 26 re-run of presidential election citing failure of the IEBC to implement reforms to ensure credible election.
The IEBC has said that the election will come on and that all other presidential candidates that contested the August 8 election can now contest the re-run poll.