Kenya to deploy security forces as opposition protests impact business


Kenya is set to deploy security forces to monitor opposition protests over the country’s ongoing election fiasco.

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe warned Kenyans against attending the upcoming protests organised by opposition group NASA, accusing the alliance of hurting business operations in the country, as he confirmed security forces will be deployed.

Go to work, not demonstrations

“It seems that Nasa has deliberated to adopt a political approach that creates a lot of uncertainty in the business environment of our country,” Eric Kiraithe said during a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday.

“To Kenyans, we are telling them to go to work, don’t go to demonstrations.”

The opposition group National Super Alliance (NASA) plans to hold demonstrations in the capital Nairobi and other cities on Friday. Protests already took place on Monday and the opposition group intends to hold two rounds of protests every week in the build-up to an election re-run on October 26.

NASA says it opposes the new election unless key members of Kenya’s electoral commision are fired.

Second election in doubt

With the country’s only real opposition group threatening to boycott this month’s election re-run and technical issues holding back the setup process, it remains unclear whether Kenya will be able to hold another election on October 26.

The electoral commission has been told the biometric voting system it had in place for the initial election last month – which wasn’t enough to hold a successful election the first time around – can’t be set up in time for the re-run.

However, more than the technology required it’s the capability of the electoral commission that’s most under question. NASA wants key members of the commission fired and replaced before any second election but doing so will only add to the work needed before holding a second election later this month.


Featured image: “Kenya Election Posters” flickr photo by theglobalpanorama shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.