- This comes after Kisumu held a multi-sectoral peace forum at which the stakeholders expressed their disappointment and disapproval of the violent incident.
- The leaders said there will be no destruction of property like it happened last Monday
Azimio leaders in Kisumu have said they will hold peaceful demonstrations on Monday and Thursday.
The leaders assured locals and the business community that their will be no destruction of property in the city during the peaceful protests.
The government has banned the protests with the police saying they will deal with demonstrators who will turn up for the illegal protests.
Kisumu held a multi-sectoral peace forum at which the stakeholders expressed their disappointment and disapproval of the violent incidents that took place on March 20.
The stakeholders claimed that during the demos, criminals camouflaging amongst demonstrators attacked innocent citizens, private property, leaving damages in their trail.
The stakeholders reiterated that violence and other forms of criminality have no place in Kisumu and that those engaged in the same should be called for what they are as criminals or thugs.
While addressing the press after the meeting, Kisumu City Manager Abala Wanga said they resolved that they are not condemning the demos but appealing for peaceful protests.
Wanga said they agreed that the leaders leading the demos, to lead them peacefully and have their marshals to ensure that property are protected, roads are not barricaded and people are not mugged.
He said they want them to maintain the level that the first demonstrations were done, peacefully and the protesters directed to areas that are not near and vulnerable to business areas.
“We have agreed to sit down so that the hot spots can be identified and even criminals who infiltrate them to ensure they are apprehended by the police," he said.
The City manager further noted that Kisumu has reached a high level of civility and they want "civilised peaceful picketing".
“We will not entertain infiltration by criminals who turn demos into looting, raping of women, destruction of properties and mugging of people, that culture is gone and Kisumu is beyond that”.
The political leaders representatives, while stressing that the demos will go on as planned, assured the forum that they will ensure there is peace during the process.
Market Milimani MCA Seth Kanga and his Kondele counterpart Joachim Oketch claimed that there were a few youths hired to infiltrate the demos.
They said demos in Kisumu have been peaceful throughout and they are going to ensure that this is maintain and what was witnesses on March 20 is not witnessed again.
“We are also asking the police to give us protection from the people who want to portray our demos as very violent in the eyes of others and soil our leaders name,” said Oketch.
He said they have listened to the concerns of the various stakeholders and assured them that as a party they have their own mechanism on how to manage the demos.
"Have talked to the party leader who expressed concern over the same and told us to ensure we maintain a peaceful demonstration and even the governor, "Kanga noted said
“I want to assure you of a peaceful demonstration. There will be no destruction of property, Kisumu city belongs to us, we cannot be leaders without this city”, he said.
According to Advocate Joshua Nyamori, the forum was attended by representatives of various sectors, including Christian community, Muslim community, Hindu community, Ismaeli community, Asian business community, Informal business sector, Public transport sector, Boda boda operators, Political parties representatives and Peace committees.
Others were Civil society, professional associations, Kisumu Tourism Association. Peace committees, Police representatives and National Government administration.
The forum called upon organizers of subsequent and future demonstrations to take full charge and responsibility for the crowds they mobilize and to ensure that they employ crowd control methods, including recruitment of marshals to ensure that the crowds are not infiltrated by criminals and that participants in the demonstrations do not target and destroy property.
The forum also commended the security agencies for restraining themselves from use of excessive force in crowd control, even though there were incidents when police unnecessarily dispersed peaceable demonstrators.
The forum also called upon residents to join together with the security agencies to prevent crime during the demonstrations and to apprehend those engaged in criminal activities, so that they are charged in court for the relevant offences.
“The stakeholders reiterated that Kisumu will remain a peaceful lakeside city welcoming new residents, investors and tourists and that we shall not tolerate a few criminals in our midst who try to take advantage of the citizen’s enjoyment of the rights to assembly, demonstrate and picket, so as loot and destroy property and or cause fear and despondency," said the forum.