Law-breakers during protests must bear individual responsibility, PS Omollo warns
- Interior PS Dr. Raymond Omollo says all criminals operating under the cover of demonstrations will be unmasked to bear individual responsibility for their actions.
- He also says that those arrested will be subjected to the judicial process in strict accordance with the law pending the outcome of investigations into their culpability in the crimes.
Scores of suspects are in police custody in connection with the criminal activities witnessed during the demonstrations called by Azimio-One Kenya coalition.
Principal Secretary for Internal Security Dr. Raymond Omollo has revealed that a series of arrests have been made for various transgressions in the areas where chaos and violence were witnessed.
“The arrests that are being made are of people who are considered suspects with regards to the various transgressions that have happened across the country not just in Nairobi, but also in Kisumu, Migori, and some parts of Homa Bay,” the PS stated.
Dr. Omollo further reiterated the freedom of assembly and expression is protected under the Constitution, but warned that such liberty comes with responsibility without exception. He expressed his dismay over the security challenges posed by the demonstrations, with vandalism, looting, arson, disorderly conduct, and hate among the major crimes recorded so far.
He said: “We’ve had challenges around those demonstrations in the sense that the lives of Kenyans have been put at risk, starting with the journalists. Property has been lost; the lives of Kenyans and our security officers have also been put at risk.”
The PS noted that all criminals operating under the cover of demonstrations will be unmasked to bear individual responsibility for their actions. He also added that those apprehended will be subjected to the judicial process in strict accordance with the law pending the outcome of investigations into their culpability in the crimes.
“What we insist on is that we will follow the law where there have been transgressions. We expect the police to do what they’re supposed to do. People need to be arraigned in court. We will follow the law, and for those who are organising demonstrations, we expect nothing short of that.”
Violence targeting journalists
In response to violence targeted at journalists and media personnel, PS Omollo stressed on the need to examine the entire context of the case and the complex web of events and circumstances that led to the incident. Furthermore, he called for restraint from the demonstrators and the law enforcement personnel, and urged non-demonstrators and all third parties to exercise caution during the protests.
He stated: “I don’t want to speak for the political leaders, neither do I want to defend anybody because those were allegations. And of course, what is expected is that there is a process that each of those allegations or cases needs to take. Generally, there needs to be certain level of precautions to take, including in terms of identification. The bottom line is that we expect restraint on the part of our security officers, but we also expect that as Kenyans we also operate responsibly and avoid putting ourselves at risk whenever we can.”
The PS, who was in the company of his counterpart Amb. Julius Bitok, was addressing the media in Naivasha after a session with the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Internal Affairs, which had sought to be familiarized with the modi operandi of the Ministry’s State Departments.
His submissions to the Committee were foregrounded by the key priority areas under the State Department for Internal Security, key among them the equipment modernization for the security sector and the policy and legislation on security matters. The PS also set forth the capacity enhancement needed to optimize service delivery within the sector and later apprised the legislators on the progress in the war against banditry, illicit brews and psychotropic substances.
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