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Police alert as NASA vows to defy Matiangi ban on demos

Police officers keep watch outside the IEBC Anniversary Towers headquarters/MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – Police have been mobilised in major cities across the country to keep away those who plan to protest in solidarity with the National Super Alliance after their leaders vowed to defy an order barring them from holding demonstrations in the main city centres.

Towns affected include Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu where Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi warned of tough action on protesters making their way to the Central Business District, with plans now underway to arrest the organiser of earlier protests Norman Magaya of NASA.

But NASA Co-principal Moses Wetangula stated that the announcement by Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi is not backed by law.

In Kisumu, Nyanza Regional Commissioner Wilson Njega said police would deal firmly with demonstrators who defy the ban to hold protests in the city centre which has been the theater of running battles in the past.

NASA has intensified protests to push for electoral reforms even after its leader Raila Odinga announced withdrawal from the October 26 repeat poll.

Earlier on Thursday, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo said NASA would defy a directive from the Ministry of Interior banning protesters from accessing the Central Business Districts in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.

Amollo who was reacting to an order by Matiangi – who announced the ban on Thursday – said NASA will proceed with its weekly demonstrations in total disregard of the order.

While announcing the ban, Matiangi castigated Magaya for failing to ensure the orderly conduct of NASA supporters during demonstrations within Nairobi’s CBD on Wednesday which resulted in the destruction of property and looting of business premises.

He asked those who had lost property during the said demonstrations to record statements with the officer commanding Nairobi Central Police Station so as to facilitate Magaya’s charging in court.

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