MPs Allow Deployment Of KDF To Curb Anti-Finance Bill Protests

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National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah had earlier tabled a motion seeking to legally ratify the government’s decision to deploy military troops on Kenyan soil.

The Members of Kenya’s National Assembly have approved the Defence Council’s request to deploy the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to help tame the anti-Finance Bill protests ongoing across the country.

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This follows a Gazette Notice by Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale allowing military deployment to support the National Police Service (NPS) in restoring normalcy in the country.

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National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah had earlier tabled a motion to legally ratify the government’s decision to deploy military troops on Kenyan soil.

Kenya Defence Forces troops during a past training exercise. /KENYA DEFENCE FORCES

“THAT, pursuant to Article 241(3)(c) of the Constitution and sections 31(1)(b), 31(1)(c) and 32 of the Kenya Defence Forces Act, Cap. 199, this House accedes to the request of the Defence Council dated 26th June 2024 and, in the interest of national security, approves the deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in support of the National Police Service in various parts of the Republic of Kenya affected by ongoing violent protests that have caused destruction to critical infrastructure until normalcy is restored,” read the motion in part.

Duale in the notice, explained that the decision to use the KDF was in light of the demonstrations that escalated and caused significant damage to critical government infrastructure.

“Under Article 241 (3) (b) of the Constitution of Kenya as read with sections 31 (1) (a), 31 (1) (c), 33 (1), 34 (1) and 34 (2) of the Kenya Defence Forces Act, (Cap. 199), the Kenya Defence Forces is deployed on the 25th June, 2024 in support of the National Police Service,” read part of the gazette notice.

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“This is in response to the security emergency caused by the ongoing violent protests in various parts of the republic of Kenya resulting in destruction and breaching of critical infrastructure.”

That announcement was however not taken kindly by members of the public who accused the state of illegally deploying the military to handle unarmed protesters leading to the alleged Githurai 45 massacre.

Expressing their opinions, Kenyans claimed that KDF officers should only be deployed under two scenarios, when there is a situation of emergency or disaster, or to restore peace in any part of Kenya affected by unrest or instability.

In both instances, however, the National Assembly should be notified and give a stamp of approval.

What followed was President William Ruto’s short address to the nation where he issued a stern warning to those allegedly behind the chaos, noting their acts were treasonous.

He said he would continue to lead a government fully committed to protecting Kenya’s sovereignty and protecting lives.

“The country shall treat every threat to the state as an existential danger to Kenya’s security. The government will provide a swift, full and effective response to today’s treasonous event,” he said. His speech drew public criticism as well.

A police officer stands near a burning vehicle at the Parliament buildings during a demonstration against Kenya’s proposed Finance Bill 2024/2025 in Nairobi, on June 25, 2024. /REUTERS


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