Kenyatta urges police to exercise restraint in dealing with protesters

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Nairobi –  President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Monday called on police officers to exercise restraint and provide protection during peaceful and lawful post-election protests in accordance with the law.

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Speaking for the first time since his re-election on Friday, Kenyatta called on those not happy with the outcome of the Aug. 8 polls to pursue constitutional means to address their grievances and urged Kenyans to resume work as they maintain peace and unity.

“We don’t need to fight one another, destroy property and lose lives because of an election.

“We continue to appeal to those who are not satisfied to use the legal mechanism which has been created by our wonderful constitution,” he told journalists in Nairobi.

He was speaking after holding his first security meetings since the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission declared him winner of the presidential elections held last week.

Kenyatta who met security chiefs in Nairobi to assess the security situation in the country, thanked the police for a sterling job in keeping law and order throughout the electioneering period.

He urged them to exercise the greatest of restraint when dealing with any protesters.

The Kenyan leader thanked millions of Kenyans who have returned to work, saying their engagements were key to moving the levers of the nation’s economy.

He called on those not satisfied with the election outcome to tackle their grievances by following the laid down legal mechanisms as outlined in the Kenyan constitution.

Kenyatta said Kenyans don’t need to fight over an election outcome, and said police stood ready to facilitate peaceful demonstrations for those aggrieved by the outcome.

He reiterated that all Kenyans have a constitutional right to express themselves in a peaceful manner, but the government would not allow the disruption of other people’s lives and property in that process.

Kenyatta was declared winner in the Aug. 8 presidential elections after he garnered 8.20 million votes or 54.27 per cent of the votes cast while his main rival, Raila Odinga garnered 6.76 million votes.

Odinga has since rejected the outcome, saying the election was not fair and credible despite international observers giving it a clean bill of health.

Kenyatta’s swearing-in of second five-year term would be held on Aug. 29, barring an election petition in the Supreme Court.

If such a petition was filed, then an alternative date of Sept. 12 would also be in play.(NAN)

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