NAIROBI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government on Thursday cancelled all political rallies across the country to help cool down political temperatures after the peaceful general elections.
A statement from the National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) also advised the country's political leaders to suspend the planned political activities since they pose security threats to the East African nation.
"The government advised the party political leadership to suspend their planned inter-county meetings because these campaign meetings are unwarranted and will only ignite ill-feelings and animosity among Kenyans and could trigger violence and insecurity, " said the statement signed by Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia.
The top security organ met on Wednesday evening following the increasing tension in the country occasioned by public statements attributed to some political leaders during which they castigated Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and claimed that they won the recent polls contrary to declaration and gazettement of the president-elect by the electoral body.
During the meeting, the NSAC said it received various security briefs following which government supported the ruling of the Chief Justice that matters in the petition should not be politicized or commented upon by political leaders as this is subjudice and contemptuous to the Court.
"Indeed, such meetings could obsolete gains made from the peaceful conduct of elections which demonstrated to the world that Kenya's democracy had matured and investors were already releasing investment capital," the statement said.
However, the statement came several hours after the Prime Minister Raila Odinga who had planned countrywide rallies to thank his supporters for voting for him had cancelled them after the directive from the chief justice.
"Prime Minister Raila Odinga has not planned any rallies in any part of the country in the coming days, including this weekend. The idea of such rallies had been discussed, but was dropped altogether mid yesterday (Wednesday), after wider consultations," a statement from Odinga's office said on Thursday.
The PM and the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) leadership agreed to suspend all political activity for the duration of the hearing of the election petition in the Supreme Court.
The PM has in the meantime appealed to his supporters and Kenyans in general to continue to remain calm and respect the rule of law, nurture peace, pray for justice and the strengthening of democracy in the country.
Odinga also appealed to his supporters to respect and have faith in the Judiciary as the Supreme Court prepares to hear his election petition.
The PM has petitioned the Supreme Court challenging the outcome of the presidential election, citing voter irregularities and fraud.
The PM is urging the court to declare Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect and William Ruto as Deputy President-elect respectively, and declare as null and void the whole electoral process leading to that declaration.
Odinga, son to Kenya's first vice-president and doyen of opposition politics, has compared the March elections to the disputed vote in 2007, which he also lost by a narrow margin, and which sparked inter-ethnic violence that killed more than 1,200 people.
Under Kenya's constitution, the Supreme Court must give its judgment on the election within 14 days from the day the petition was filed.
Some 12.3 million Kenyans voted in presidential elections in which Kenyatta narrowly avoided a run-off by winning 50.7 percent of the ballots against his close challenger, Odinga who garnered 43.4 percent.
The historic elections were watched closely by both local and international poll monitors who have said the election was credible and called on the political leadership to maintain peace as they await the presidential petition at the Supreme Court.
During its meeting, the top security organ upheld the earlier directive by Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo that no mass actions, demonstrations or political gatherings and meetings would be allowed since this would compromise peace, security and tranquility during this electoral process.
"The government directed that National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the security agencies deal firmly and decisively with those propagating hate speech and violence in the social media," the statement said.
The government statement comes as Kenyans have taken their fight from the streets to the social media, engaging each other on tribal lines over who won the country's presidential elections.
Many Kenyans have expressed concerns that some people are using recent developments in technology such as Twitter and Facebook to spread discord in the country.
Unlike in the 2007 general elections where Kenyans hacked each other with machetes and arrows and text messaging was being used, hate mongers have now resorted to the use of Tweets and angry status updates to insult others.
During the Wednesday meeting, the government took issue with idle, noisy mobs congregating outside Supreme Court of Kenya and its environs and had become a public nuisance, was disrupting Court processes and business operations around the general area.
"This will be disallowed since strategic buildings were under security surveillance and such mobs are a security threat and should be advised to disperse with immediate effect," the statement said.
The security committee called on politicians to allow the Supreme Court to arbitrate on the petition challenging the results of the presidential elections.
"The Court process should be left to those authorized into courts. Any attempts to disrupt, discredit or intimidate the courts, IEBC or other institutions of the State will not be tolerated," the security committee warned.