East Africa

CORD planning Arab Spring in Kenya


The opposition is using the ongoing protests against the IEBC to trigger a revolution similar to the Arab Spring, Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery has said.

Speaking in Brussels on Thursday in an interview with the Star, Nkaissery claimed that the protests by the Raila Odinga-led opposition coalition were “bigger” than the removal of the IEBC commissioners.

“We want peaceful elections but Cord has continued to incite the citizens and intimidate the government by throwing stones. This is a revolution in the making: As minister for Interior, I will never allow it,” Nkaissery said.

He added that the plan is similar to the revolutions that have seen governments toppled in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and civil wars in several other North African nations from 2010.

“People think Kenya is a very weak country and you can repeat what happened in Libya and Egypt here. That is the thinking of these fellows of Cord. It is high time that Kenyans are told that this is a revolution in the making and the government will not allow it,” Nkaissery said.

The CS also said the government will soon expose the opposition’s plan and was currently gathering all the documentary evidence.

Cord has staged several protests in Nairobi and other towns calling for the IEBC commissioners to resign, arguing that the commission cannot deliver a free and fair election next year.

Some of the protests have turned violent, leading to deaths, destruction of property and looting, especially in Kibra and Nyanza.

The Cord leadership has dismissed the CS’s previous claims on the same issues as “figments of fertile imaginations”.

“Those claims must be treated with the contempt they deserve. They amount to whistling and shooting in the dark. If they are looking for targets, Cord will not give them any,” Cord co-principal Moses Wetang’ula told the Star in an earlier interview.

But Nkaissery said they have every reason to believe that the opposition was not after reforms in the IEBC but seeking to grab power from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

‘If you have a legal process and you are avoiding that legal process, you want a violent approach, what does that mean? Are you saying there is no government in place? Are you not challenging the constitutionality or legality of the government of the day? If the IEBC is really the issue, why don’t you follow the law in your quest to remove the commissioners who are in office legally?” Nkaissery said.

The CS said that while the constitution gives Kenyans a right to peaceful and unarmed demonstrations, the government would not sit back as people get violent.

‘Violent demonstrations are not allowed by law. What Cord has been doing is not peaceful demonstrations.

The Star.

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