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Government seals off­ Nyayo and Uhuru Park, no meetings on Madaraka Day

By Jacob Ngetich and Moses Nyamori | May 31st 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Workers put final touches to the shelter over the presidential dais at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, where Madaraka Day celebrations will be held tomorrow. [PHOTO: BONIFACE THUKU/STANDARD]

NAIROBI: The Government Monday cancelled meetings at Uhuru Park and Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday. Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said both CORD and Prayers Beyond Boundaries will not be allowed to use Uhuru Park because of security concerns occasioned by double bookings.

The decision was arrived at after a meeting by the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC). Kiraithe also accused some unnamed neighbouring countries of working with the Opposition to destabilise the country. “Following lengthy deliberations, NSAC decided that neither of the parties who had reserved the premises will be permitted to use the grounds on the material day and therefore both parties are requested to reorganise their activities accordingly,” said Kiraithe.

NSAC is chaired by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and comprises of Interior Security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, Chief of Defence Forces Samsom Mwathethe, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and his two deputies, Attorney General Githu Muigai and PS Foreign Affairs.

But in swift rejoinder, CORD in a press conference denied allegations of destabilising the country and dared the Government to present details of leaders and the countries they claimed to be involved in the plot.

CORD’s statement, read by Senator James Orengo, said “Kenya is losing authority in the East African region and instead of identifying friends, it is making enemies.”

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REGRET INCONVENIENCE

The Opposition also moved to High Court under a certificate of urgency seeking interpretation over who between the national government and county government is in charge of Uhuru Park.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said thus: “We want to tell Kiraithe to equip himself with the Constitution. The police and the Government must respect the Constitution. The Uhuru Park rally is on and we will gather there as early as 6am.”

In his statement, Kiraithe said NSAC had also decided that Nyayo Stadium would remain closed on Wednesday.

“We regret the inconvenience caused to those affected, but thank the public in advance for their compliance with these provisions which, in the considered view of the committee, are in the interest of public safety,” said Kiraithe.

He said in Nairobi, Madaraka Day celebrations would be held at Pumwani Secondary School in Starehe Constituency.

He said they confirmed that through “an unfortunate administrative oversight” both CORD and Prayer Beyond Boundaries Ministries managed to reserve Uhuru Park.

“This otherwise minor logistical issue has regrettably become somewhat contentious and taken on unnecessary political dimensions,” said Kiraithe

He said that there were some people in the country who were working with the neighbouring country to distabilise the country in what he described as a grave concern to the Government.

“Investigations into recent political activity have yielded intelligence to the effect that there are individuals within the country who are working with two neighbouring countries to subvert the Government and create conditions of instability, insecurity, lawlessness and strife,” said Kiraithe.

He said that the Jubilee Government considered that as a contemptible undertaking and described it as an act of treason.

“Any person who collaborates with an enemy of Kenya is also an enemy of Kenya and will be met with the swift, full and unmitigated wrath of the law. In due course, the Government will be revealing the results of our investigations, and unmasking these despicable traitors,” said Kiraithe.

He added: “We urge public patience in this matter and promise to be uncompromising in our quest for national security.”

But as the clash between Jubilee and CORD looked imminent, a group of over 40 MPs from across the political divide was seeking a united approach to spearhead electoral reforms.

The MPs yesterday met at a Nairobi hotel to undertake a different initiative from that spearheaded by the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs committee that has been driving the effort in the House.

The caucus convened by David Ochieng (Ugenya) and Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurweini) said the MPs intend to provide a platform for the changes that have placed Jubilee and CORD at loggerheads over election reforms.


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