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Chief Justice Willy Mutunga condemns teargassing of CORD protesters

By Cyrus Ombati | April 26th 2016
Teargas as ODM supporters engage police officers in running battles after a peaceful match by CORD leaders to IEBC offices turned chaotic forcing police officers to use force on April 25 2016. [PHOTO:DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD]

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has condemned the Monday teargassing incident by police on a group of CORD protesters who were calling for the removal of commissioners at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

While quoting American writer and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner, Justice Mutunga wondered why police had to teargass the ‘peaceful procession'.

"The past is never dead. The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner.

"Faulkner's quote is my very painful reflection that teargassing of peaceful demonstrations has not been our past since our independence!" said Mutunga on his Twitter account.

Mutunga's comments were seen as a reflection of the 1990s when opposition leaders were teargassed as they fought for multiparty system.

Mutunga was among those involved in the struggle and were repeatedly beaten up by police.

This came as another protest took place in Kisumu on the IEBC offices. The group demonstrating on the offices was teargassed by anti-riot police and dispersed.

They demanded the IEBC commissioners leave office before a Member of County Assembly was arrested for chaining himself on the local commission’s gate.

The leaders led by Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula were on Monday with a group of MPs and their supporters attempted to reach IEBC offices in vain.

More police officers were mobilised to guard Anniversary Towers on Tuesday over fears there may be another round of planned match on the offices. The officers were under instructions not to allow any protester near there.

Some of the CORD leaders say they would return there on Monday and they would escalate the protests to all IEBC offices countrywide.

The protests are aimed at forcing the commission out of office ahead of the 2017 elections. But the commission has refused to leave office and instead asked the politicians to use the legal means to remove them. The politicians say the commission has lost credibility to hold elections and want it out.

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