The UK High Commission’s text message alert system has been warning British citizens to avoid areas of Nairobi where Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) protests are taking place.
The first message, sent around 9.30am advised all staff and visitors in the area of University Way to exercise ‘extreme caution’.
— Robert Nagila (@Rnagila) June 6, 2016
The next warning, send an hour later reported Thiika super highway was blocked by demonstrators in the area of the Muthaiga turn off and again warned recipients of the message to avoid the area.
Two later messages reported that Mombasa Road was blocked by truck drivers and Ngong Road by demonstrators walking towards the city centre.
— Ahmed Mohamed (@Asmali77) June 6, 2016
The High Court had given CORD (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) permission to demonstrate and the police were to provide security.
However, the BBC have reported that Japheth Koome, Nairobi’s police chief, has warned opposition supporters not to take part in today’s protest in the Kenyan capital “if (they) value (their) life”.
“No demonstration. That’s the message. If you have nothing else to do, sleep. It will not be allowed.
“That’s why I’m questioning those who have intentions of demonstrating… Don’t come, then you start talking about police brutality. Life is dear! Please, if you value your life, don’t attempt it that way. You will be dealt with firmly.” – Nairobi police chief, Japheth Koome (speaking to the BBC)
Despite the warning, demonstrations have gone ahead.
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) June 5, 2016
CORD have been holding demonstrations on Mondays in protest against what they say is bias at the Electoral Commission in favour of the governing Jubilee coalition. They want it replaced by a neutral body.
They want the current members of the electoral commission to resign ahead of next year’s presidential election.
If you would like to receive SMS text alerts from the British High Commission providing information on staying safe and avoiding problems in Kenya, text regp (for permanent residents) and regv (for visitors) to +447537404755.