Police deployed ahead of Kenya opposition protests
May 2, 2023 -BBC News -Police officers have been deployed on the streets in Kenya’s capital Nairobi ahead of planned protests by the opposition.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has vowed to resume protests amid warning by the authorities that they will not allow it “in the interests of national security” and citing violence during past demonstrations.
But Mr Odinga insisted that protests would start on Tuesday at 06:00 local time and said that the protests would be peaceful and in compliance with the constitution.
He said the police could not decide in advance that there would be violence as the basis for banning protests that were protected by the constitution.
Kenyan law provides for protests and do not require police approval.
On Tuesday morning, the city’s central business district was calm with people going about their business, amid heavy presence of police officers on some streets.
Mr Odinga recently announced that protests that began in March against the high cost of living and alleged electoral malpractices would resume this week.
At least three people were killed in the violence as police confronted protesters who burnt tyres and barricaded roads. Property were also looted and destroyed.
They demonstrations had been suspended after Mr Odinga and President William Ruto agreed on talks through a parliamentary team.
But there has been disagreement on the composition of the two teams selected to represent the opposition and the government in the talks.
Mr Odinga has also accused Mr Ruto of being insincere about the so-called bipartisan talks.