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Police disperse NASA supporters from assembling outside Supreme Court

The group led by Dagoreti MP Simba Arati was planning to hold prayers outside the court ahead of Raila’s petition hearing. Photo/CORRESPONDENT.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters and some of their leaders who tried to assemble outside the Supreme Court were on Sunday afternoon dispersed by anti riot police.

They were dispersed by anti riot police officers deployed to maintain security around the court since Saturday when a status conference on Raila Odinga’s presidential petition was held.

The group led by Dagoreti MP-elect Simba Arati then joined NASA leader Raila Odinga to accompany him to Uhuru Park where Pastor Owuor was conducting prayers but were blocked from proceeding there, in what police said was a plan to hold a rally.

Raila, who spoke to journalists earlier after attending a church service at the All Saints Cathedral, condemned the police action, saying they are not backed by any section of the law to stop people from assembling anywhere in the country.

“We do not seek any permission, the law is very clear; if Kenyans want to do something stipulated in the constitution they just notify the police,” said Odinga.

On Saturday, the Nairobi Police Boss, Japheth Koome declined to grant the opposition permission to hold a prayer assembly outside the Supreme Court and further cautioned the opposition supporters that they will be met with the full force of the law if found violating the directive.

In reference to Koome’s decision to deny the opposition its wishes, Odinga said police were enforcing nonexistent laws only aimed at infringing on people’s rights.

“Koome does not understand the law, he is notified so that he can provide security and not that he can give permission; we are past that. This is a free country, there is freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, Koome needs to read his law better,” said Odinga.

The NASA leader who was accompanied by his co-principals, Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetangula said the opposition’s ‘Canaan’ course.

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“We are on our way to the city of Jerusalem, we have passed Jericho and we are going to Jerusalem. I want to assure Kenyans that we will get to Jerusalem that nothing will prevent the people of Kenya from achieving our course,” said Odinga.

Odinga lost the August 8 elections to President Uhuru Kenyatta and has filed a petition at the Supreme Court, citing what his lawyer James Orengo describes as ‘massive flaws” in results relied on to declare the winner.
Hearing of the case is scheduled to start on Monday, with the final ruling due on Friday.

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