Babu Owino demands release of ‘Occupy Parliament’ protestors


NAIROBI: Embakasi East Member of Parliament Dr. Babu Owino demanded the release of protestors arrested during the ‘Occupy Parliament’ peaceful demonstrations in Nairobi’s CBD on Tuesday.

The Embakasi East legislature condemned the mass arrests conducted by police on peaceful protestors by the police saying it was not acceptable.

“We demand the immediate release of the people who have been arrested for it is their constitutional right to picket and/or to demonstrate peacefully,” said Babu Owino.

Owino said if police did not release the arrested protestors they would take action against Inspector General Japhet Koome.

“We are giving police 24 hours to release these peaceful protestors without charge or we will move to court against the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome in his individual capacity for gross violation of the freedom of speech and the right to picket and protest which is enshrined in our constitution 2010,” said the Embakasi East MP.

He called on Kenyans from other parts of the country to come out to protest against the Finance Bill 2024.

“We are congratulating Kenyans for the demonstrations held in Nairobi today and we urge all Kenyans from different parts of this country to come out from every ward, sub-county, county, and nationwide. Demonstrations should be held in very coordinated way and manner to show this regime that the power belongs to the people,” said Babu Owino.

Quoting Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, Babu reminded President William Ruto that sovereignty only belonged to the people.

“Ruto being the President of the country has a fiduciary duty, he is only holding this seat in trust for Kenyans. This seat does not mean that it is his personal property and therefore without the removal of the taxes on imported goods, which is further going to raise the cost of living, demonstrations must just proceed as they have started,” he said.

Meanwhile, Starehe MP Amos Mwago condemned action by police during the demos in Nairobi saying it was impunitive for police to punish their bosses.

“The voters are the ones who are being taxed so that these police can be paid. Even the himself, the Deputy President, and the government rely on the taxes from the people who are demonstrating today,” said Mwago.

The Finance Bill, 2024 was tabled in parliament today, Tuesday 18th June 2024.

The National Assembly has approved a special session on Thursday to consider the bill and the House will extend Wednesday’s sitting to 9:30 pm to consider Finance Committee’s report.