The recent announcement by Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his supporters to lead countrywide demonstrations from next week has raised concerns among many Kenyans, including constitutional lawyer Prof. PLO Lumumba.
Speaking on the JKLive show on Wednesday, Prof. Lumumba noted that the actions are treasonable and aimed at overthrowing the government. He urged Odinga and his followers to use existing institutions to hold the current regime accountable instead of calling for mass protests.
“Mass action presupposes and requires leadership not to use demonstration as a basis for creating confusion. It is about doing things that are in accordance with the law and using methods that are recognised,” Prof. Lumumba told show host Jeff Koinange.
While acknowledging the right to hold peaceful demonstrations, Prof. Lumumba stressed the need for leadership to use methods that are recognised and lawful. He also warned that if the demonstrations become anarchic, they will infringe on the constitutional right to hold peaceful demonstrations. He further added that if Raila and his followers breach State House, all hell will break loose.
“If there is a march on State House on the 20th and God forbid that the mob succeeds in getting into State House and imagine that someone is shot dead and there is a stampede there will be a blood bath and Kenya will never be the same again. What happens on the 21st? What is the endgame?” he posed.
The seasoned lawyer’s warning comes amid growing tension in the country, with reports of planned road shows to mobilize supporters for the planned mass action.
The intelligence report, obtained by the Hustler Nation Intelligence Bureau (HNIB), indicates that a third group will invade Nyayo House where Energy and Immigration offices are housed. The idea behind this is to create 360 degrees of chaos, and attract aggressive police reaction.
While President Ruto has warned against holding unlawful protests that will result in the destruction of lives and property or the paralyzation of business operations, it remains to be seen how the situation will unfold. The government has so far shown restraint, but tensions are high, and any wrong move could lead to a bloodbath.