NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 — Deputy President William Ruto Thursday postponed his Nyamira County tour to October 15 after police stormed the venue where he was to lead a fundraising event in trucks dispersing people who had gathered ahead of the visit.
The DP said he decided to postpone the event after consultations with the area MPs following the disruption by the police which he termed as unnecessary.
Ruto was to attend a similar funds drive on Friday in Kisii County, Kenyenya sub-county.
“After consultations with MPs Kemosi, Mose, Nyamoko, the bodaboda sacco and church leadership who had invited us, we have postponed the two functions in Nyamira County to Thursday next week. The disruptive dispersal by police of kenyans engaged in economic empowerment is unnecessary,” the DP tweeted.
Police took charge of Kebirigo High School ground on Thursday morning as they ordered away supporters who had flocked the venue ahead of the fundraiser.
A video surfacing online showed police officers asking members of the public to leave the venue saying the event was unauthorized.
Another video however showed armed police officers using teargas canisters to disperse crowds.
On Wednesday the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) told leaders and politicians intending to hold public meetings to notify the Officer Commanding Station of the area three days prior.
The measures were announced by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua who chairs NSAC.
Kinyua’s directive draws similarity with Section 5 (2) of the Public Order Act requires persons with an intention to convene public meetings to “notify the regulating officer of such intent at least three days but not more than fourteen days before the proposed date of the public meeting or procession.”
The directive was however interpreted as Ruto’s allies as an attempt to slow his country-wide campaign tours as the fallout in the ruling Jubilee Party deepens.
“The Greatest threat to our National Security is not social media or public/political gatherings.Greatest threat to our National Security is deceit, wrangles and fights at the highest level of government and the governing Party. Kinyua’s statement is panic button for the side that has lost the public,” Senator Kipchumba Murkomen charged.