, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – Police engaged NASA supporters in running battles at the Jacaranda grounds in Embakasi, Nairobi which has been sealed off to thwart an Opposition rally.
Anti-riot police officers lobbed teargas to disperse the group from attending what NASA planned as a memorial for more than 50 people allegedly killed by police in recent political unrest.
They started by sealing off the grounds before unleashing tear gas on a group of youths who were marching to the grounds.
Police are also reported to be camping outside the homes of several NASA leaders – including Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati in Kileleshwa where an Armoured Personnel Carrier was stationed.
NASA supporters later regrouped and blocked roads, making it impossible for motorists to pass.
On the night before the rally, unknown people ferried and dumped raw sewage on the spot where the dais was to be erected.
The clash between police and the coalition’s supporters came after Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome warned the Opposition against holding the meeting.
Koome had denied knowledge of the event and vowed not to allow it, saying the only major public event that would take place would be President Kenyatta’s swearing-in.