, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 7 – The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy was back in court on Monday seeking to reverse an order issued last week blocking any calls for mass action and holding CORD leaders personally liable for any violence on Saba Saba day.
The urgent application was listed for hearing from midday on Monday, hours before start of the CORD rally at Uhuru Park.
The order was issued last Friday by Justice Isaac Lenaola with the consent of CORD lawyers and those of Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko who filed the case.
In the order, Justice Lenaola barred CORD leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula from calling or purporting to call mass action.
“The public meeting set for July 7, 2014 shall proceed as scheduled during which participants there shall be at liberty to exercise their constitutional right to assemble peacefully without being armed in any manner and without incitement, inflammatory or defamatory rhetoric being uttered and without interrupting business activities of the day,” the judge directed.
Justice Lenaola further directed that Odinga, Musyoka and Wetangula be held personally liable for any breach of the terms set out in the consent.
As CORD moved to court, security personnel were leaving nothing to chance ahead of the Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park.
All those accessing the expansive park were undergoing thorough security screening from both the National Police Service and National Youth Service.
Police officers were deployed in the park and various parts of the city as early as 5am to ensure peace is maintained.
The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo at the weekend directed organisers of the rally to ensure it ends by 5pm on grounds of security.
There was minimal traffic in and around the city as weary residents opted to keep off the centre of the Kenyan capital.
Hundreds of CORD supporters began streaming into the park at the creak of dawn, ahead of the rally.
For Jackson Mulinge, he hoped after Monday’s rally that “the government will agree to hold talks with the Opposition. They need to talk and solve our problems. Security and high cost of living is our major challenge.”
Evans Odongo hoped that CORD leaders, “will give the way forward from today’s meeting. We cannot live like this.”
Within the city centre, traders went on with their business as usual as police officers who are strategically positioned kept watch to ensure peace prevailed.
The coalition’s leaders have already assured that the rally will be peaceful.
The rally comes after a series of political meetings across the country calling for national dialogue with the government.
The government however insists that any dialogue should be held through existing constitutional frameworks.
Among the issues CORD leader Raila Odinga says the government should engage the Opposition in are the disbandment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, corruption, insecurity and devolution.