The NGO Council of Kenya has condemned the violent protests witnessed during the Saba Saba day street demonstrations in Nairobi and other parts of the country.
In a statement, Council Chairman Stephen Cheboi expressed regret that the Azmio opposition had opted on protests well knowing it was unable to control goons and criminal elements from taking advantage.
“We as a council respect the rule of law and the constitutional right for assembly but this should not be done at the expense of wananchi who had to close down businesses for fear of looters after others were robbed,” he said adding that many others stayed home while reports indicate several planes carrying tourists to Nairobi were diverted to Dar and Kampala.
This he said in economic terms means the country may have lost up to Ksh 9 billion in one day alone.
“For a heavily indebted struggling Kenyan economy this is a luxury we cannot afford” Cheboi said, asking hardliners on both sides to give peace a chance.
He said further protests planned for Wednesday should be called off saying political leaders should stop holding wananchi at ransom as they pursue their own selfish agenda.
“Lets always observe peace as a nation. We should be united as the people of kenyans.”The National Council of NGOs (The NGO Council) as an umbrella Organization of all NGOs and other CSOs call for sobriety and dialogue through the Bi-Partisan approach to resolve thorny issues”
Cheboi warned that leaders both in government and the opposition must be accountable to the people.
He said Azmio’s move to collect 10 million signatures should be done within the law given that elections have long been concluded and new commissioners to the electoral commission body are yet to be reconstituted.
The country, he said, should not be subjected to “jungle law” of Thomas Hobbes where “might is right” and life is short and brutish!