Kenya: Security Intensified in Hotspots As Supreme Court Prepares Petition Verdict

Nairobi — Police Headquarters has ordered security be intensified in hotspots as the Supreme Court preopares to issue a verdict on the presidential verdict on Monday.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua has already directed all County Commanders to increase deployments in specific areas where protests or celebrations are likely to take place once the verdict is issued.

“The supreme Court of Kenya will make a ruling on the presidential petition on Monday 5/9/2022) depending on the ruling of the court we expect various reactions from the members of the public in hot spot areas such as violence and destruction of property, demonstrations, and celebrations,” Mbugua said in the directive.

The Supreme Court concluded hearings of the consolidated petition seeking to nullify the victory handed to President-Elect William Ruto following the August 9 presidential election.

The petitioner is Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga who accuses the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of rigging the poll in Ruto’s favour. A verdict is expected on Monday.

The Deputy Inspector General said that some areas could experience violence and or celebrations and urged police across the country to be vigilant.

On Thursday, the US Embassy in Nairobi announced it had imposed movement restrictions on Americans in Kisumu ahead of the Supreme Court ruling.

Kisumu is Odinga’s main support base.

“Election-related demonstrations and rallies regularly take place after elections, at times blocking key intersections and causing traffic jams,” the advisory read in part.

The Embassy warned that the protests could turn violent at times, necessitating police intervention, and urged its citizens to remain vigilant as Kenyans await the final ruling from the country’s apex court.

But the Kisumu county government immediately protested the warning, saying no demonstrations or violence is expected.

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