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Follow petition judgment from home, police tell Kenyans


Acting Inspector General of Police Noor Gabow. Image: FILE

Nairobi, Kenya  | THE STAR KENYA | Police have advised Kenyans to follow proceedings from home when the Supreme Court sits to pass its verdict on the presidential petition on Monday.

In a statement on Saturday, acting Inspector General of Police Noor Gabow advised against gathering outside court premises at Milimani Law Courts.

“We wish to advice the general public to avoid gathering at the Supreme Court during the ruling, or congregating in public gatherings but follow the proceedings from the comfort of their homes,” Gabow said.

If anything, the acting IG said access to the court precincts will be limited to the public and all roads leading to the Supreme Court will be closed.

“Traffic police officers shall be deployed adequately to direct traffic around the court facility,” he said.

On August 22, Azimio la Umoja supporters jammed the court precincts as coalition leader Raila Odinga was filing his petition.

Jubilant supporters of the veteran politician camped outside the court for hours as Raila and his team delivered track-full of documents as evidence in the petition.

The Court will on Monday, September 5, 2022 deliver its verdict on the petition after the conclusion of a three-day hearing on Friday.

Police share emergency numbers

Earlier, police have assured Kenyans of ample security on Monday when the Supreme Court will be delivering judgment on the presidential petition.

The police service has appealed for calm and advised against migration of people from their usual places of residence in fear of anticipated chaos.

“As the National Police Service, we have taken all necessary steps and measures to enhance security in all parts of the country, including all critical infrastructure,” acting Inspector of Police Noor Gabow said in a statement on Saturday.

“We therefore take this opportunity to appeal to Kenyans to remain calm and peaceful. We further assure all Kenyans and the general public of their enhanced personal security and that of their property including loved ones,” he added.

The assurance comes hot on the heels of a US security advisory Thursday advising its citizens against travelling to Kisumu saying the judgment might occasion post-election violence.

“Demonstrations may occasionally be violent, requiring police intervention.  Strikes and other protest activities related to economic conditions occur regularly,” the US State department said.

Millions of Kenyans are nervously waiting for the Supreme Court judgment on Monday, the 14th day since the presidential petition was filed.

It’s a high-stakes verdict as it poses the potential of disenfranchising half of the over 14 million Kenyans who cast their ballots on August 9 whichever way it goes.

Over 7.1 million Kenyans voted for Deputy President William Ruto who was eventually declared winner of the presidential contest on August 15.

But another half of the voters, over 6.9 million, voted for Azimio leader Raila Odinga, who moved to court to challenge the outcome.

Already more security officers have been deployed to areas with the highest risk of election-related violence.

Deputy Inspector General Edward Mbugua on Friday directed regional and county police bosses to prepare for any eventualities that might come as a result of the verdict.

“Depending on the ruling of the Court of Appeal of Kenya, we expect various reactions from members of the public in hot spot areas such as violence and destruction of property. Demonstrations and celebrations,”Mbugua said in a statement.

And as both sides of the political divide cross their fingers ahead of the verdict, the police have asked them to remain as calm and peaceful like they did during and after the polls.

“Events leading to, during and after the elections remained generally calm and peaceful. This outcome was largely due to the mature conduct of Kenyans who heeded the call to remain peaceful,” Gabow said.

The police boss appealed to Kenyans to remain vigilant during the court process and report any suspicious activities within their areas to security authorities.

Information may be shared in confidence to any police officer, at a police station or through the toll free numbers 911, 112, 999 or FichuaKwaDCI via 0800-722-203.



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