Police seal off Uhuru Park ahead of Raila planned swearing

January 28, 2018 3:54 pm
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Koome said police will seal off Uhuru Park, which will be a no-go zone as part of security measures in the capital.

, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 28 – Police chief Japheth Koome now says they have not received any notification from Opposition coalition NASA over its planned swearing in of Raila Odinga on Tuesday.

Koome said police will seal off Uhuru Park, which will be a no-go zone as part of security measures in the capital.

Speaking during a media briefing on Sunday, Koome said he is not aware of any planned activities by the opposition or any other group who have shown interest to use the facility during that day.

“No group will be allowed to use Uhuru Park, the place will remain closed, any scheduled activities that were to take place there should be cancelled,” said Koome.

Earlier, NASA had hinted that it would use the park as the venue where Odinga and his running mate and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka would take their oath as the People’s President before changing the venue to an undisclosed location.
Last week, the Nairobi County Government announced that it has closed Uhuru Park for major renovations and therefore, will not issue permits for any event there this week.

With the county government statement and today’s announcement from Koome, a showdown is clearly looming after NASA insisted on carrying out the event at the historic grounds.

According to the city county government, a church and a group called Nairobi Business Community had applied to use the grounds but Koome insisted that for fear of a confrontation, the park will remain closed.

“I am told that different groups want to use the grounds on that day but I want to tell them that the grounds will be a no go zone and urge them to choose a different day. Confrontations are bound to happen during that day and the police cannot sit and watch and allow that to happen,” said Koome.

NASA leaders, who have remained adamant on their plans to swear-in Odinga, insist that they won the August 8 polls and nothing would stop them from proceeding to do so despite calls by foreign envoys and religious groups asking them to shelve their plan.

Last week, the coalition unveiled what it described as authentic results for the August 8 presidential election, announcing that Odinga garnered 8,104,744 votes representing 50.24 per cent against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 7,908,215 votes, representing 48.92 per cent of votes cast.

Making the announcement, Siaya Senator James Orengo defended the results as “authentic, undiluted and unadulterated” saying Odinga won in 26 counties, the prisons and Diaspora.

“This is it. This is what the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has denied the people of Kenya ever since the elections were held on August 8,” Orengo said during the event held at a Nairobi hotel.

While commenting on the same, Mudavadi, the ANC leader said the “information given was too loaded,” adding “it needs time for distillation.”

NASA chief executive Norman Magaya had indicated before the meeting got underway that the coalition will be using the results as the basis for the swearing in of Odinga and Musyoka as President and Deputy President next week Tuesday.

Weighing in on the subject, Chief Justice David Maraga last week said he has no power to stop any judge from swearing in NASA leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.

Maraga said he had no legal mandate to direct any judge or magistrate on any matters saying that the judicial officers have their independence.

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