By Andrew Wasike
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - Kenya’s inspector general of police announced Sunday that he has banned opposition protests in the country, saying they are illegal.
Japheth Koome warned of arrests for opposition leaders and activists who plan to protest on Monday and Thursday.
Koome has also threatened to arrest opposition leader Raila Odinga and other prominent figures if they attempt to hold the protests.
“The demonstrations are illegal and will not be allowed. We will arrest anyone who causes chaos,” he said
In response, Odinga challenged Koome to carry out his threat, saying the ban violates Kenya's constitution and that the opposition has a right to hold peaceful protests.
“We are not going to be intimidated by the police. We will continue with our protests,” Odinga said.
The opposition has been calling for protests demanding that the cost of living be reduced after rising considerably since President William Ruto came to power.
There are fears that the ban and the threat of arrest could escalate the situation, with the opposition vowing to defy the ban and continue with their protests.
The police have been accused of using excessive force in response to the protests, with reports of live ammunition being used against protesters.
One person was killed last Monday following countrywide protests that brought Nairobi to a standstill.
The protests descended into violence with police using tear gas and water cannons to bring the situation under control.