Showdown looms between NASA, police as Raila returns

November 17, 2017 10:00 am
After arrival, Odinga plans to lead a procession through the city/RCIU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – Kenya’s Opposition chief Raila Odinga is expected to return to the country Friday after a weeklong overseas tour where he met leaders of civil society organisations.

A showdown looms upon his arrival, as politicians affiliated to his coalition plan to lead a ‘million man’ march to the country’s main airport, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in outright defiance at the police, who argue the airport is a protected area.

Odinga left the country amid heightened political tension following the October 26 repeat election, which he boycotted over what he termed as unfavourable grounds. The poll was won by the incumbent President, Uhuru Kenyatta.

“I look forward to returning to the country,” Odinga said in a video posted on his social media platforms on Thursday.

He said international partners had shown ‘a lot of interests’ over what was happening in Kenya.

His arrival is surrounded by controversy as politicians led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, former Senator Johnson Muthama and Boni Khalwale make necessary plans to make is his arrival grand.

On Thursday, a group of leaders caused drama at the entrance of JKIA, as they demanded to address the media inside the facility, and “assess the security situation.”

“We want to know whether the airport is safe enough ahead of the arrival of our leader Raila Amollo Odinga,” Embakasi East MP Babu Owino said.

While police say that the airport is a protected area, the defiant leaders led by Orengo and Homabay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, insisted, “we must assess the security of the airport .”

After the drama, the leaders outwitted the police and proceeded to hold a rally in Kibera.

All the main entrances to the populous slum, the epicentre of Odinga’s support in the city, had been sealed off.

But after the rally ended, a group of rowdy youths poured onto the Southern bypass near Kibera, where they burnt a trailer and smashed windscreens of several vehicles including those of the police.

It was not clear what was their grievances were since they had just left the Kibera rally addressed by MP Simba Arati, Wanga, Esther Passaris, Orengo, Muthama and many others.

Earlier, police had detained Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and TJ Kajwang while on their way to Kibera.

After questioning at the Kilimani Police Division, they were released and asked to report on Friday morning.

Security has been heightened along Mombasa Road, to ensure law and order prevails.

After arrival, Odinga plans to make a procession to the city.


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