In a move to deter demonstrations in the country, President William Ruto’s government has moved to make it very expensive to demonstrate in the country.

According to The Assembly and Demonstration Bill 2024, organizers of protests and individual demonstrators could face financial liability for property destroyed during picketing if a new bill is signed into law.

The bill seeks to govern the conduct of demonstrators and have them solely limit their activity to airing their grievances and not destroying other people’s property while making their point.

In the past, some demonstrations have gotten out of hand, leaving traders counting losses over looting or rogue demonstrators going on unwarranted rampage.

“Where during the carrying on of an assembly or demonstration, damage to property occurs as a result of the assembly or demonstration, every organisation and every person participating in such assembly or demonstration shall, be jointly and severally liable for such damage,” reads a provision of the bill.

Further, the bill seeks to have demonstrators banned from carrying banners, placards, singing, or making speeches that in any manner could incite hatred towards other groups or persons on account of differences in culture, race, sex, language, or religion.

Additionally, protestors will also be required to have their face fully identifiable, without wearing any disguise, mask, or apparel that could prevent law enforcement officers from identifying them.

Protestors will also be banned from wearing any form of apparel that resembles any of the uniforms worn by security forces including the police and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

The bill also seeks to outlaw possession of any offensive weapon, during protests.

The bill further outlaws any unlawful assembly and demonstrations.

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