Police, Opposition leaders and supporters have engaged in running battles in Mombasa County during demonstrations to push for reforms in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) ahead of the repeat presidential election scheduled for October 26.
Some leaders and supporters allied to the National Super Alliance (NASA) were on Friday, October 12 teargassed as they made their way into the city chanting anti-IEBC slogans.
They also called for the removal of IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba.
The leaders dispersed included Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi, Senator Mohammed Faki and MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Badi Twalib (Jomvu) and several MCAs.
Kingi condemned the police for their actions and pointed out that it was their right to picket.
"It is our right to demonstrate and we will not be deterred. It is enshrined in the constitution but police always come to disperse us," said Kingi.
Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i banned NASA demos in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa town centres on Thursday.
“The Government notifies the public that demonstrations shall not be allowed within the CBDs of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu. The Inspector General of Police has been advised accordingly,” said Matiang’I on Thursday.
“In accordance with Article 254 (4) of the Constitution and pursuant to the powers accorded to me by section 22 of the Public Order Act, I will be gazetting regulations that will govern the conduct of public processions and demonstrations,” he added.
The Opposition vowed to defy the orders by Matiang’i saying that they must ensure reforms in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are effected before the repeat presidential poll on October 26.
“If you notify the police on an intended demonstration, you do not require any response from the police except if somebody else has booked the venue where you intend to demonstrate or if there’s any danger to your life or limb as the person who’s going to demonstrate,” lawyer Otiende Amollo pointed out.
He also asked the CS to stop any action against National Super Alliance CEO, Norman Magaya, for allegedly failing to contain demonstrators who turned violent in past protests.
On Thursday Mataiang’i asked people who had lost property during the October 6 demo in Nairobi to record statements at the city’s Central Police Station to facilitate investigations on Dr Magaya.
The Opposition has defied Matiang’i’s demo bans and held them in several parts of the country on Friday.