Kenya beefs up security at court

Joseph Boinett

Joseph Boinett

NAIROBI. – Kenyan police yesterday enhanced security and barricaded roads near the Supreme Court as the full judgment of the nullified presidential polls was being delivered.

Several anti-riot police were positioned along major streets near the top court building directing away motorists and pedestrians. The increased security presence comes a day after Chief Justice David Maraga publicly complained that Inspector of Police Joseph Boinett had ignored their calls to enhance security to judicial officers and the court.

However, Boinnet denied the claims, saying every judge has an armed officer and all courts are protected.

A huge police barricade was also placed outside the Supreme Court signalling no through way. A similar blockade was imposed before September 1 as the court heard the case that led to the nullification of the results. Boinnet said yesterday they would not allow protests outside the Supreme Court, a day after a group of ruling party supporters blocked the entrance of the court for hours accusing judges there of stealing their alleged victory.

Boinnet also warned against blocking of major roads in protest against or for the Supreme Court. “We will not allow anyone to block roads. Social media users are also warned to desist from spreading lies and threats,” he said.

Some social media users had been sending alarming alerts on alleged attacks on motorists, which the police found were untrue. This caused panic among road users. The ruling party supporters blocked major highways in Nairobi, central and northwest Kenya in protest against the Supreme Court ruling that nullified the presidential polls of August 8.

Yesterday a group of opposition supporters arrived as the judges continued to read their verdict and kept dancing and celebrating outside the court for hours as police watched from a distance. The protests inconvenienced many motorists with traffic jam snaking for up to 20 kilometres away on some roads.

Boinett said the police are under instructions to disperse any group blocking roads. Tens of anti-riot police have been put on standby to act in case of violence ahead of the release of the judgment.

Meanwhile, chaos broke outside Supreme Court in Nairobi when police used tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters that had blocked the entrance for some hours.

However, both the security officers and protesters outside the Supreme Court were forced to flee after they were attacked by bees. The injured who was stung by the bees that attacked was rushed to hospital. The police and protesters were forced to retreat at a safe distance but away from the Supreme Court gate.

It was not established where the bees came from as the judges continued to deliver the full judgment of the August 8 presidential elections which have since been nullified. – Xinhua.

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