Opinion: Just Like France, Ban Violent Protests in Kenya

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On Saturday at midday Judges from Paris’s administrative court rejected an appeal by a French national organisation against police violence (la Coordination nationale contre les violences policières) to allow protests to go ahead at Place de la République in the French capital from 3:00 pm on that day.

The ruling followed an announcement from the country’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin last week on Wednesday, banning any demonstrations up to July 15 “directly linked to the riots” that followed the death of 17-year-old Nahel M., who was shot and killed by police at a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on June 27.

France, just like Kenya, has been wracked by weeks of violent demonstrations against the government and police violence after the teenager was killed. However, unlike in France, the violent protests in Kenya are allowed to go on, leaving a trail of death and destruction of property.

In Paris, protesters have lit thousands of cars on fire, attacked schools, town halls, police stations, banks, and businesses, and set nearly a thousand buildings ablaze. Some in the Paris suburb of L’Hay-les-Roses rammed a burning car into the mayor’s home.

Estimates of the damage have been projected to be about $1.1 billion. As a result, thousands of young people have been arrested since the rioting began, with France’s Interior Ministry saying the average age of those arrested is 17.

For Kenya, the taxpayers are losing an estimated Sh3 billion a day in light of the demonstrations called by Raila Odinga. Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) says, the losses are attributed to the looting, destruction, and damage of property which happens whenever Mr. Odinga calls on his supporters to go to the streets.

Last week, the Nairobi Expressway was closed on Thursday after protests against the government turned violent, with some protesters looting and vandalizing the road on Wednesday. Several gantries were destroyed during the chaos, with Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen estimating the cost of repairs to be Sh700 million.

The Opposition leader last week on Wednesday announced three-day demonstrations to be held from this Wednesday to Friday.

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