NASA challenges demostration ban in court, says Matiang’i has no power

Kisumu Demonstrations. Photo/courtesy.

NASA has filed a petition seeking orders prohibiting the police and the DPP from effecting and implementing ban on demonstrations by acting CS for interior Fred Matiang’i in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu CBD.

In a petition filed under a certificate of urgency, the opposition argues that the right to freedom, peaceably assemble, picket and demonstrate is a fundamental right and any anticipated and contemplated limitation ought to be done in accordance with the law as stipulated in the constitution.

NASA through its Chief legal advisor Norman Magaya, says that a blanket ban on the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms without any justification whatsoever is unconstitutional and borders on illegality and dictatorship which action goes against the rule of law, international law and constitutional dictates in a democracy.

The petitioner alleges that Matiang’i acted outside the law and in excess of his powers in directing that demonstrators be arrested and investigated or detained for alleged offences by unknown persons.

Through lawyer Jackson Awele, the party claims that the police and the respondents’ agents have unleashed terror, violence and have further gone on a shooting and killing spree more specific in areas perceived to be sympathetic to the political cause of NASA.

“The police and agents of respondents instead of exercising their duty as stipulated by law have turned into merchants of death and brutality, and instead of protecting and guiding demonstrators who peaceably and unarmed have continued to exercise their constitutional rights, they’ve subjected them into untold misery,” claims the opposition.

NASA who says that they will continue with the anti-IEBC demos as planed, further say that the police are acting and subjecting the public to unjustified harassment, torture, brutality and killing in selected regions of the Republic of Kenya.

Magaya claims that he has been subjected to constant threats and intimidation by police and Matiang’i and it’s only fair that the court expeditiously intervenes to secure his rights and those of NASA’s members in order to preserve their rights and fundamental freedoms as guaranteed under the constitution.

Further, he claims that Matiangi has no basis on law, criminal liability and culpability on a personal basis and that the threat to arrest him on the basis of criminal conduct is unconstitutional, and prejudicial to the applicant’s constitutional rights.

“My intended arrest and detention is premised on my notification issued to the police,” says Magaya.

The applicant and its members are apprehensive that they shall suffer irreparable gross and fundamental contravention of their constitutional rights and freedoms if the court does not intervene.