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Kenya Kwanza MPs call Ruto to order, escalate Azimio protests to 'domestic terrorism'

MP Nelson Koech explains why Kenya Kwanza MPs have termed Azimio #Maandamano as 'domestic terrorism'.

President William Ruto during a meeting with foreign investors at State House, Nairobi on July 13, 2023

Details have now emerged of a State House meeting, called by Kenya Kwanza MPs, where ongoing Azimio Maandamano protests were termed as 'domestic terrorism'.

Speaking on Daybreak, Monday morning, Belgut MP Nelson Koech detailed that the ruling coalition MPs organised a parliamentary group meeting with President William Ruto in attendance.

Multiple media reports now indicate that the Saturday meeting was attended by over 200 legislators and a strategy was devised to counter Maandamano, as Azimio plans to hold demonstrations on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week

Koech further relayed that from intelligence briefs supplied to the president, destruction of the Nairobi Expressway at the Mlolongo Terminus last week, was a "well-funded" operation.


According to the Belgut legislator: "The meeting at State House was called by leaders, not the president. It was from a growing concern over what is happening in the country, especially the violence. As leaders, we felt that before we decided on the next course, to speak to the president and the leadership of Kenya Kwanza to understand their view and how they feel about it and what we can do."

The UDA party MP went on to disclose that those in attendance ventured to determine the real motive behind the Raila Odinga-led protests, and whether they had been "peaceful".


"We needed to find out from the president, because he has better intelligence, what was going on. I can confirm, from the meeting, what happened in Mlolongo was a well-funded destruction of property by Azimio," Koech reiterated.

At least four people were shot dead at the Mlolongo scuffle.

MP Koech announced that the government now intends to classify Maandamano as 'domestic terrorism', insisting that: "Azimio is not protesting about mwananchi."


He said: "What we discussed at State House is how to end it. This is what we said, and this came from we the leaders, we cannot continue to watch as the country is being overrun by domestic terrorists.

"As responsible leaders and Kenyans, because the police are overstretched, we ask the people to come out and protect their property," the MP summarised, adding that traders whose businesses were broken into during the July 12th protests should: "...use any means possible to deter any confrontation to your property," during the next protests.

Standing by the call to counter Maandamano, MP Koech further insisted: "If on Wednesday these people try to terrorise the country, then it is the responsibility of citizens to deter such provocation."

The July 12th demonstrations saw various businesses across Nairobi vandalised, Eastmatt Supermarket in Kitengela was among the hardest hit outlets.


According to Kenyan law, an act of terrorism involves the use of violence, endangerment lives or poses a serious threat to the health and safety of members of the public.

Further, the law outlines that an act qualifies to be terrorism when firearms, explosives, bio-weapons or an electrical signal interference is deployed - posing a risk to national or public security.

The act must also be aimed at causing fear, intimidation, or coercion to members of the public, the government or an institution in Kenya.

The Terrorism Act, however, provides the disclaimer: "Provided that an act which disrupts any services and is committed in pursuance of a protest, demonstration or stoppage of work shall be deemed not to be a terrorist act within the meaning of this definition so long as the act is not intended to result in any harm."

Azimio leaders have continued to insist that Maandamano is peaceful demonstrations against the high cost of living for Kenyans, under President Ruto's administration.


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