NGO Council Condemns Violent Street Pretests, Demand Police Action Against Conveners

By The Weekly Vision

The NGO council of Kenya has condemned in the strongest terms possible the violent protests witnessed during the Saba Saba day last Friday in Nairobi and other parts of the country. In a press statement, the council chairman Stephen Kipchumba Cheboi expressed regret that the Azmio opposition leaders had opted for protests well knowing it was unable to control goons and criminal elements from taking advantage.

“We as a council respect the rule of law and the constitutional right for assembly but this should not be done at the expense of wananchi who had to close down businesses for fear of looters after others were robbed,” he said adding that many others stayed home while reports indicate several planes carrying tourists to Nairobi were diverted to Dar and Kampala.

This he said in economic terms means the country may have lost up to Ksh. 9 billion in one day alone. “For a heavily indebted struggling Kenyan economy this is a luxury we cannot afford” Cheboi said, asking hardliners on both sides to give peace a chance. He said further protests planned for next Wednesday, July 13 2023 should be called off saying political leaders should stop holding wananchi at ransom as they pursue their selfish agenda.

“Let’s always observe peace as a nation. The National Council of NGOs (The NGO Council) as an umbrella Organization of all NGOs and other CSOs call for sobriety and dialogue through the Bi-Partsan approach to resolve thorny issues” Cheboi added warning that leaders both in government and the opposition must be accountable to the people.

He said Azmio’s move to collect 10 million signatures was an “exercise in futility” given that elections have long been concluded and new commissioners to the electoral commission body are yet to be re-constituted. “Who will organize elections if the planned impeachment succeeds in parliament?” The country, he said, should not be subjected to the “jungle law” of Thomas Hobbes where “might is right” and life is short and brutish!

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