Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 20:17 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
In a scene reminiscent of the single party era, police this afternoon used force to paralyze an ODM rally in Kwale that was to be graced by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho at Kinango Township. The officers dispersed a crowd that had gathered at the grounds, saying the venue had been booked for another event.
Just as the opposition supporters were getting ready to start proceedings of the meeting, police officers lobbed teargas to break up the rally which had been organized by Kinango constituency aspirant Benjamin Tayari. The rally had started on well with entertainers and youth activists taking to the dias, and a number of local ODM officials arriving to give speeches, but when word went round that Mr Joho was going to arrive in the next 15 minutes, police descended on residents ordering them to leave immediately.
Already, leaders led by Tayari, Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori and Kwale County Assembly Speaker Sammy Ruwa had lined up to receive Governor Joho before local police boss Lawrence Charo said that there were directives to stop the meeting. As soon as Joho’s chopper arrived, police threw teargas at the place of landing inviting the wrath of members of public who chanted "Mvurya Must Go", and other slogans against the Jubilee-supporting governor of Kwale Salim Mvurya. The rally consequently aborted.
Reports indicated that Mr Mvurya had booked another ground where the rally was initially planned to be held, prompting the ODM fraternity to go to another ground. Later on Joho and other leaders addressed the media.
Police dispersed people attending the rallies moments after Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa urged Mr Joho to restrict his meetings to Mombasa County where he is the governor. The provincial administration official's order was controversial given that politicians, and indeed every other Kenyan, have the right to travel and assembly peacefully anywhere in the country.