In Kenya, government announces plans for legislative amendment limiting constitutional right to assemble and protest

By Jackson Otukho, 27 March 2023
Flag of Kenya (photo credit: OpenClipart-Vectors via pixabay)
Flag of Kenya (photo credit: OpenClipart-Vectors via pixabay)
In the wake of the Azimio protests, the government has announced plans to amend the constitutional laws governing how demonstrations are conducted in Kenya. At the moment, Article 37 of the Constitution 2010 gives the right to assemble, demonstrate and picket, but the participants must be peaceful and unarmed. [...] However, in a move seemingly aimed at restricting demos, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said the government, through the Parliament, would introduce changes to the Public Order Act overseeing the right to picket and demonstrate. [...] In the changes, Kindiki listed 10 tough conditions that must be met before anyone is allowed to take to the streets. They include: 1. Changes in notification procedures. 2. Duties of security agencies to protect the rights of those participating in the assembly, demonstration, picket or petition. 3. Demarcation of assembly, demonstration, picket and petition zones.  4. Duty of public agencies and institutions to set aside a zone for persons who wish to present petitions to public authorities. 5. Duty of organizers of assemblies, demonstrations, pickets and petitions to provide the hours, routes and other relevant information to assist law enforcement agencies to escort them and provide them with security.  6. Consent requirements from persons whose activities are likely to be affected by assemblers, demonstrators, picketers and petitioners. 7. Obligations of the organizers of assemblies, demonstrations, pickets and petitions to ensure that the activities remain peaceful, unarmed and generally within the law, including compliance with the duty not to infringe on the rights of others.  8. Limitations on the number of assemblers, demonstrators, picketers and petitioners at any particular occasion. 9. Responsibility for clean-up costs. 10. Responsibility for and payment of damages to those harmed by activities of assemblers, demonstrators, picketers or petitioners.
Read the full article here: Tuko


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