High court advocate speaks on the ongoing demos

It is constitutional requirement for police to seek a judicial interpretation whenever they want to curtail the right to peaceful demonstration.
According to advocate of the High court Steve Ogolla, as much as the constitution gives room for peaceful demonstration under article 37, the government must ensure law and order during the demonstrations.
He says in scenario where the Government feels the demonstrations are a threat to security of innocent Kenyans and property then the demonstrations can be banned.
“The constitution provides for peaceful demonstrations but at the same time the government has a responsibility to ensure peace and security of the innocent Kenyans who are not part of the demos and can ban demo if at all they pose a threat” he said.
This even as Opposition alliance Nasa maintains the countrywide demos will go on in their quest for reforms in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission-IEBC.
On the issue of police using excessive force on demonstrators as witnessed in some parts of the country, advocate Ogolla argues that there should be decency from both sides-the demonstrators and the police.
He says in a scenario where the demonstrators feel the police have acted illegally, the best is to suspend the demos and move to court to request the court to bar the police from interfering with the demonstrations.
This he adds will help cool down the acts of indecency witnessed when demonstrators in their anger decide to confront the police.
“If the police have done something illegal the way to react to it is not confrontation but rather the demonstrators should move to court to challenge that” he said.
PHOTO/Courtesy:Demos in Kenya.

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