The Kenyan Police Must Be Held To Account For Contravening Chapter 27 Of The Constitution Of Kenya During The Azimio Demonstrations

By Steve Biko Wafula / Published March 22, 2023 | 7:54 pm




KEY POINTS

Article 37 of the constitution guarantees every person the right to peacefully and unarmed assembly, picketing, and demonstration without requiring prior permission from the authorities.


Azimio

KEY TAKEAWAYS


The use of excessive force and live bullets was a clear violation of the Constitution. The death of a university student in Maseno is proof enough that the entire police force must be condemned and held to account.


Chapter 27 of the Kenyan Constitution is devoted to the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the right to assemble, demonstrate, picket, and present petitions to public authorities.

Specifically, Article 37 of the constitution guarantees every person the right to peacefully and unarmed assembly, picketing, and demonstration without requiring prior permission from the authorities.

This right is an essential aspect of democratic governance, as it enables citizens to express their views and hold their leaders accountable.

Despite the constitutional protections, the police in Kenya have been accused of contravening the Constitution by using excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrators. The police have argued that the demonstrations were illegal and that they were acting within the law.

Despite the fact that the right to assemble and demonstrate is not absolute, and that it can only be restricted in exceptional circumstances, and in this case, there were no exceptional circumstances. Any restrictions must be necessary and proportionate to the legitimate aim of protecting public safety, public order, or the rights and freedoms of others.

In this case, the police was the one who brought the violence and the destruction of property. The use of excessive force and live bullets was a clear violation of the Constitution. The death of a university student in Maseno is proof enough that the entire police force must be condemned and held to account.

The police’s use of force to suppress peaceful demonstrations is not only a violation of the right to freedom of assembly but also a contravention of the Constitution’s provisions on human dignity and freedom from torture. Article 29 of the Constitution provides that every person has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right to be free from all forms of violence, whether from public or private sources. The use of excessive force by the police during peaceful demonstrations amounts to violence and a violation of this right.

Furthermore, the police’s actions contravene the Constitution’s provisions on non-discrimination and equal protection of the law. Article 27 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination on any grounds, including race, sex, ethnicity, religion, or social status. The police’s use of force during demonstrations has been criticized for targeting specific groups, such as the youth and marginalized communities. This practice is discriminatory and violates the principle of equal protection of the law.

Another critical aspect of Chapter 27 of the Constitution is the right to petition public authorities. This right allows citizens to voice their concerns and grievances to the government, and it is essential for holding public officials accountable. The police’s use of force to suppress demonstrations effectively denies citizens the right to petition public authorities, thus undermining the principle of participatory democracy.

The Constitution also provides for the right to seek redress in court for violations of fundamental rights and freedoms. Article 22 of the Constitution provides that every person has the right to institute court proceedings to enforce the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. However, the police’s use of force during peaceful demonstrations makes it difficult for citizens to seek redress for violations of their constitutional rights. This is Kenyans must report the actions of the police to the International Criminal Court. Why the ICC, simply because local judicial institutions have been compromised.

Moreover, the police’s use of force during demonstrations contravenes international human rights standards to which Kenya is a party. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which Kenya has ratified, guarantee the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstrations.

I know that these rights are not absolute and can be restricted only in exceptional circumstances, such as to protect public safety or national security. The use of excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations does not meet these standards. In this regard, the police must be held to account for what transpired on Monday the 20th. If democracy is to have a chance to grow, then we must demand the accountability of the police and the resignation of the bosses in the Ministry of Interior.

In conclusion, Chapter 27 of the Kenyan Constitution provides for the right to assemble, picket, and demonstrate peacefully without requiring prior permission from the authorities. The police’s use of force to suppress peaceful demonstrations violates the Constitution’s provisions on human dignity, freedom from torture, non-discrimination, equal protection of the law, and the right to petition public authorities. It also undermines the principle of participatory democracy and the right to seek redress for violations of fundamental rights and freedoms.

The police must respect and protect citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms, and any restrictions must be necessary and proportionate to the legitimate aim of protecting public safety or public order.

Related Content: Calling For a Boycott Of Major Brands Is Unpresidential




About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

View other posts by Steve Biko Wafula


More Articles From This Author








Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2024
  • January 2024 (238)
  • February 2024 (227)
  • March 2024 (190)
  • April 2024 (133)
  • May 2024 (70)
  • 2023
  • January 2023 (182)
  • February 2023 (203)
  • March 2023 (322)
  • April 2023 (298)
  • May 2023 (268)
  • June 2023 (214)
  • July 2023 (212)
  • August 2023 (257)
  • September 2023 (237)
  • October 2023 (266)
  • November 2023 (286)
  • December 2023 (178)
  • 2022
  • January 2022 (293)
  • February 2022 (329)
  • March 2022 (358)
  • April 2022 (292)
  • May 2022 (271)
  • June 2022 (232)
  • July 2022 (278)
  • August 2022 (253)
  • September 2022 (246)
  • October 2022 (196)
  • November 2022 (232)
  • December 2022 (167)
  • 2021
  • January 2021 (182)
  • February 2021 (227)
  • March 2021 (325)
  • April 2021 (259)
  • May 2021 (285)
  • June 2021 (272)
  • July 2021 (277)
  • August 2021 (232)
  • September 2021 (271)
  • October 2021 (305)
  • November 2021 (364)
  • December 2021 (249)
  • 2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (335)
  • June 2020 (327)
  • July 2020 (333)
  • August 2020 (276)
  • September 2020 (214)
  • October 2020 (233)
  • November 2020 (242)
  • December 2020 (187)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (251)
  • February 2019 (215)
  • March 2019 (283)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (269)
  • June 2019 (249)
  • July 2019 (335)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (318)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (213)
  • March 2018 (275)
  • April 2018 (223)
  • May 2018 (235)
  • June 2018 (176)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (247)
  • September 2018 (255)
  • October 2018 (282)
  • November 2018 (282)
  • December 2018 (184)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (189)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (164)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (189)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (247)
  • September 2016 (233)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (164)
  • April 2015 (107)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (119)
  • July 2015 (145)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (186)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (205)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950