By KBC Reporter
The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has condemned the brutal method the police have been using to contain CORD protesters demanding for the resignation of electoral commission officials.
Speaking at the organization’s Annual General Meeting in Kisumu where he was elected for a fourth term, Atwoli said the police must respect human rights while engaging protesters, particularly now that the country is headed to an electioneering year.
Atwoli said the opposition has a constitutional right to demonstrate.
His sentiments were echoed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) which also condemned cases of police brutality witnessed during Monday’s protest by the opposition.
According to the commissions chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori it is a responsibility of all people to uphold the constitution terming the gravity of police brutality meted out on some demonstrators during the CORD demonstrations as appalling and unacceptable.
The two spoke even as CORD leader Raila Odinga urged his supporters to continue staging protests in Nairobi and other parts of the country until IEBC commissioners vacate office.
IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan has insisted they can only leave office if the opposition and anyone else agitating for their removal follow the law, a stand supported by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
And speaking in Bungoma, Ford-K party leader Moses Wetang’ula reiterated that the CORD coalition will not participate in the 2017 General election if the current IEBC commissioners continue to remain in office.
Wetang’ula says they have lost confidence in the current IEBC commissioners.
He further said Cord supporters will continue with their nationwide demonstrations every Monday until the commissioners bow to pressure and resign to pave way for a team that will be acceptable by all parties.
The leader of the minority in the senate asked the Interior Cabinet Secretary Major Retired General Joseph Nkaissery to provide security to the demonstrators and ensure that their constitutional rights are not infringed.
Elsewhere, Gichugu MP Njogu Barua has proposed for the extension of the current parliament for one year to give room for electoral reforms.
According to Gichugu MP, Parliament will need about six months to carry out necessary electoral reforms before the country goes for the next General Election.
The outspoken legislator added the process of changing and recruiting new commissioners will take about one year and that process cannot be accomplished before March 2017.
He noted that the law stipulates that new commissioners must be in the office six months before the next General Election.