Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi on Tuesday July 7 has asked all courts to release all people arrested during the Saba Saba protests that took place across Nairobi County.
He said that the arrest of anyone based on the Ministry of Health guidelines in containing the spread of COVID-19 is unlawful since the rules set are not laws
“MoH rules on containing COVID have not been subjected to Parliamentary approval as required by the Statutory Instruments Act. They are not law. The arrest and detention of anyone on their basis is unlawful. Courts are advised to free all Saba Saba suspects without charge.” he wrote on his Twitter account.
“Dr John Khaminwa, George Kegoro, Harun Ndubi, VP Daudi Kamende and I met up with Police Chief Ndolo. He assured us that Saba Saba suspects will be released today. It is our expectation it will be done and that there will be no need for us to challenge the arrests in Court.”
More than fifty people were arrested in Nairobi during the annual Saba Saba demonstrations, including a handful of activists.
Nairobi Police Commander Philip Ndolo stated that the activists did not inform the relevant authorities about their plan to take to the streets.
Renowned activist Boniface Mwangi was arrested while protesting over the Saba Saba march that turned chaotic in Nairobi.
Beforehand Kibra activist Editar Achieng’ was arrested during the Saba Saba protests heading into the city.
She was among protestors taking part in the demonstration dubbed ‘Saba Saba March for Our Lives’
Editar vied for the Kibra parliamentary seat during the by-election in 2019 following the death of MP Ken Okoth. The seat was won by his brother Imran Okoth under the ODM party ticket.
Police lobbed teargas to disperse protesters in the Nairobi Central Business District.
This was preceded by protesters in Kayole and Mathare beating the brunt of teargas lobbied by police as they marched towards the City Centre to commemorate the 30th Saba Saba day protests.
The protest as announced by, among others, activist Boniface Mwangi was aimed at pushing for the full implementation of the Kenya 2010 Constitution.
“On Tuesday, peaceful citizens will take part in Saba Saba March for Our Lives. You must ensure the National Police Service respect article 37 of the constitution, the right, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities,” Mwangi stated in a statement addressed to the Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.
The group argued that the gains by the Saba Saba movement would be lost if the Kenya 2010 Constitution was not implemented in its entirety.
The first Saba Saba protests took place 30 years ago and initiated the process of changing the constitution to make Kenya a multi-party state.
This was due to the excesses by President Daniel Moi that drove Kenyans to start mobilising for a new Constitution as far back as 1985. In 2010, that new Constitution was promulgated.
Veterans Charles Rubia, Kenneth Matiba and Raila Odinga were arrested by police just four days before they were expected to address a massive rally at Kamukunji Grounds demanding an end to single-party rule.
More than 5,000 citizens were arrested all over the country and many others maimed or killed for daring to utter the word “multiparty”.
Their agitation, however, set the stage for the repeal of Section 2A in 1991 marking a return to multi-party politics and expanding the country’s democratic space.