LSK condemns police for disrupting Finance Bill protests

"The running battles and use of teargas on protestors are a despicable affront to the rule of law."

In Summary
  • This follows Bungei's dismissal of any plans to organise protests in Nairobi saying it was illegal.

  • Bungei said that no one applied for a gathering or picketing permit as expected. He said the protest was illegal and banned.

Police arrest a protester within Nairobi streets as a section of Kenyans demonstrated against the Finance Bill, 2024.
Police arrest a protester within Nairobi streets as a section of Kenyans demonstrated against the Finance Bill, 2024.
Image: ENOS TECHE

Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has demanded that Nairobi region Police Commander Adamson Bungei withdraw directive barring anti-Finance Bill protests.

LSK in a statement on Tuesday instead demanded that Bungei directs officers to stand down from making any arbitrary arrests or meeting violence against protesters.

"We are closely monitoring today's events and will take legal action to find Bungei and any officer who violates the rights of the protesters on account of his instructions personally liable for any breaches of the Constitution and the National Police Sevice Act," LSK president Faith Odhiambo said.

LSK noted that the actions by police may result in violence against innocent citizens and which actions may also result in violent attacks and injuries that can be avoided.

"The running battles and use of teargas on protestors that we have seen images of this morning are a despicable affront to the rule of law," Odhiambo said.

This follows Bungei's dismissal of any plans to organise protests in Nairobi saying it was illegal.

Bungei said that no one applied for a gathering or picketing permit as expected. He said the protest was illegal and banned.

Bungei said they received a 'faulty' document dated June last year, which doesn't meet the protest permission threshold.

“The notification they left at Central is dated June 17, 2023. It is faulty. We can't allow them. No demonstration.”

“Kenyans should be allowed to do their business and those with grievances should direct them where they know well.”

He added they have mobilised officers to ensure that any gathering is dispersed instantly.

As a result, police arrested dozens of protestors within Nairobi streets during the protests.

The Finance Bill has sparked significant public outcry, with critics arguing that it will impose undue financial burdens on citizens already grappling with economic hardships.

Police in plain clothes arrested protestors who were converging at various meeting points within the Central Business District.

Kenyans who attempted to assemble outside the National Centre, National Archives, Kencom and Jeevanjee grounds were swiftly arrested.

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