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Fly the preacher out, civil society members insist

BUSIA
By | January 18th 2010

 By James Ratemo

Civil Society groups now want the Government to charter a plane, even if it means using the presidential jet, to fly controversial Muslim cleric Abdullah Al-Faisal out of the country.

The activists also want Internal Security Minister George Saitoti censured for the security lapse that led to deadly protests last Friday.

Under the banner of Kenyans for Justice and Development (Kejude), the activists have condemned the mayhem and the use of live ammunition by police on protestors.

In a statement, Kejude National Convener, Neto Agostino, said policemen allowed marauding goons to join the confrontation.

"Goons have no place in law enforcement and should have been arrested by police for creating disturbances," said Kejude official Okoiti Omtata, who read the statement.

Okoiti urged Saitoti to convene a stakeholders meeting to craft modalities on how the democratic right to protest against Government should be enjoyed.

Right to demonstrate

He called on Kenyans to avoid accosting law enforcers and always uphold peaceful demonstrations, but castigated police for denying the protestors a right to demonstrate.

"Saitoti is overwhelmed by the Internal Security docket. He has adopted a reactionary rather than proactive leadership and we are tired of his statements instead of action," said Benji Ndolo of Name and Shame Convention.

The activists wondered why the Government could not stop the Muslim cleric from entering the country if he is really a wanted man.

They also questioned why the Government did not act on intelligence information it claims to have had to arrest the purported Al-Shabaab extremists who invaded the peaceful protests.

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