High Court lifts government ban on CBD demos

Kenya opposition supporters demonstrate in the capital, Nairobi, demanding poll reform.
Kenya opposition supporters demonstrate in the capital, Nairobi, demanding poll reform. PHOTO: SAMUEL RAMTU

The High Court on Tuesday temporarily lifted the government’s ban on demonstrations in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu Central Business Districts (CBDs), until a case filed by NASA CEO Norman Magaya is determined.

The National Super Alliance (NASA) had on Monday, October 16, filed a petition before the court to stop the police and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) from implementing the government’s ban on demonstrations that was issued last week by acting Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

Issuing his orders, Justice Chacha Mwita also restrained the police and DPP from arresting Mr. Magaya as Dr. Matiang’i had indicated.

Through lawyer Jackson Awele, the opposition coalition had argued that the police have failed in their role to provide security to demonstrators but instead are acting and subjecting the public to unjustified harassment, torture, brutality and killing in selected regions of the country.

The opposition maintained that Mr. Matiang’i had no legal basis and acted outside his powers in ordering for the arrest of NASA CEO Norman Magaya.

“Should the court fail to intervene, the applicant and its members shall suffer irreparable gross and fundamental contravention of their constitutional rights and freedoms,” Magaya said in the affidavit.

NASA leaders, however, have vowed to proceed with their scheduled demonstrations within CBDs of the cities despite the government’s ban.

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Story By Majanga Michael
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