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Chaos, confusion and heavy police presence at Jacaranda Grounds

 Police tear-gas a crowd at Jacaranda Grounds, Embakasi, Nairobi. [Dennish Ochieng]

Police have dispersed pro-Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino supporters from Jacaranda Grounds in Embakasi, Nairobi, following a dispute over which side should hold a rally at the venue.

This is after the factions clashed leaving at least two people injured among them Embakasi East UDA aspirant Francis Mureithi.

A contingent of anti-riot police was deployed to the grounds in the morning to avert the clash after Kenya Kwanza and Babu Owino claimed to have booked the venue.

 Embakasi East UDA aspirant Francis Mureithi. [Dennish Ochieng]

Chaos characterized by stone-throwing and vandalism erupted at around 11pm, spilling into the afternoon.

Speaking to The Standard on phone, Embakasi Sub-county police commander Makau Masai had, earlier on, said that there would be no political activity at that venue.

“Yes, we have deployed a number of officers to Jacaranda for security reasons. There will be no meeting of any kind on the grounds. We cannot allow the two political groups to meet here. We have to ensure the safety of our citizens comes first,” said Masai.

 Group fleeing police at Jacaranda Grounds. [Dennish Ochieng, Standard]

According to Kayole Sub-county police commander Paul Wambugu, however, the Kenya Kwanza event was to go on as planned and the heavy police presence was for security reasons.

“It is normal for police officers to be present in a meeting because people are in attendance. There is only one meeting for Kenya Kwanza,” said Wambugu.

The Kenya Kwanza rally, according to Deputy President William Ruto, is still on.

 Scenes at Jacaranda Grounds. [Dennish Ochieng, Standard]

"The Kenya Kwanza fraternity and the entire hustler nation wishes a blessed Sunday to all and let us meet in Jacaranda after church," DP Ruto had tweeted, urging his supporters to attend the rally.

Confusion set in after the MP also moved to his Twitter account and claimed to have booked the same venue for a prayer meeting, which he later cancelled.

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