Kenya social movement

56 members of People’s Parliament arrested

10 March 2007

56 members of people’s parliament were arrested today from the Jeevanjee Gardens Park in Nairobi. People’s Parliament is a people’s initiative, and has been meeting everyday at the park for the past 15 years to discuss social issues.

According to Koigi wa Wamwere, a member of Parliament in Kenya who is in solidarity with the People’s Parliament, the government of Kenya has the intention of permanently closing down people’s parliament owing to its allegiance to the Chama cha mwananchi, (poor
people’s party), a newly registered party.

While many members of people’s parliament identify with the plight of the poor,(they themselves are poor), they are well within their constitutional right to meet and discuss whatever issue they wish. The Kenyan constitution guarantees Guarantees Acts that provide a creditor with security in complement to the debtor’s commitment. A distinction is made between real guarantees (lien, pledge, mortgage, prior charge) and personal guarantees (surety, aval, letter of intent, independent guarantee). freedom of assembly, expression, conscience, and belief.

The repressive laws banning “unlawful assemblies” have all been repealed so the government is detaining the members under the pretext of breaking Nairobi city by-laws. Jeevanjee Gardens is NOT a state property, nor is it the property of the city of Nairobi. Jeevanjee Gardens is the only park in the city that is directly owned by the people, having been donated to the poor people of Nairobi as a resting area (the park was private property and it is held in trust for the people of Nairobi) City by-laws, do not, therefore, apply to the Park, which is the private property of the people.

More importantly, the government of Kenya has lately developed intolerance to people’s initiatives and we believe that repression of people’s parliament and the illegal arrests and detention of social activists is a calculated move to harass, terrorize, demoralize and otherwise disenfranchise the masses.

As usual, such attempts to defeat the aspirations of the people will be met with resistance, and with equal force if need be. We do, however, require your solidarity and support during these difficult times.

We call on all those who support justice for all, the right to assemble, right to due process, freedom of expression and basic human rights for all, including the poor people of Kenya to rise in solidarity and help us fight the emerging monster that the Kenyan
government is becoming.

We urgently need people to do the following:

1. Contact the Kenyan Embassy in your country and demand for the immediate release of all members of Bunge la Mwananchi(People’s Parliament) who were arrested at the Jeevanjee Gardens today 10th,March 2007, 32 of whom are currently still being illegally detained at the Central Police Station in Nairobi

2. Demand the arrest of the City Council officers who were responsible for beating and injuring 5 members of People’s Parliament.

3. Demand that the government of Kenya stops, with immediate effect, the concerted effort to harass members of People’s Parliament.

4. Contact your own government and demand that your government stops supporting the Kenyan government. Your taxes should not be used to aid in the harassment of poor Kenyans by a government that is so afraid to lose the election that it no longer tolerates discussions amongst the citizens!

5. Send faxes and email in solidarity to the following offices:

HON. Mwai Kibaki, The president of Kenya
Email: president@statehousekenya.go.ke

HON. MUSIKARI KOMBO, Minister, Local government
TEl:+ 254 20 217475
FAX: +254 20 337 960
(Responsible for the City Council officers)

BRIGADIER HUSSEIN ALI, Commissioner of Police
Tel: +254 20 341411

The Nation Media Group (local media)
Fax: +254 20 213 946

The Standard Group(local media)
+254 20 213108
Email: editorial@eastandard.net

We thank you all for your continued support! Aluta Continua!

For and on Behalf of People’s Parliament:

WANGUI MBATIA: (+254 722 74 75 75), + 254 20 204 0192
tfosa@swiftkenya.com
P. O. Box 22708-00100
NAIROBI, KENYA
HASSAN INDUSA (+254 723 489 463),
WAMBUGU MWAI (+254 733 248 301)
TERRENCE NJOROGE (+254 727 881 926)


CADTM

COMMITTEE FOR THE ABOLITION OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBT

35 rue Fabry
4000 - Liège- Belgique

00324 226 62 85
info@cadtm.org

cadtm.org