Police yesterday foiled plans by Deputy President William Ruto to conduct a fundraiser for boda boda operators in Nyamira.
This was set to be the second time in as many weeks that the DP would visit the region as he popularises his 2022 presidential bid.
Everything had been set, with Ruto’s ground troops mobilising residents to attend the function at Nyangoge Primary School grounds.
However, no sooner had the programme started than heavily armed police officers arrived in several lorries and the venue turned into a battlefield.
The meeting had been declared illegal, but the crowds that had gathered awaiting Ruto’s arrival would not leave.
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Police lobbed teargas canisters at the crowd, and MPs Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango) and Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), who were just arriving, had to scamper for safety.
Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro also did not get a chance to congregate with their Nyamira neighbours.
Ruto termed the developments as unnecessary and pushed the events to next Thursday.
“After consultations with MPs Kemosi, Mose, Nyamoko, the boda boda 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 on Kenyans engaged in economic empowerment is unnecessary,” tweeted the DP.
The other fundraisers scheduled for today in Ogembo and Kenyanya in Kisii County were also postponed to next Friday.
The MPs condemned the government for stopping the event, saying they had sought approval from authorities.
“This is a legal meeting since Nyamira County Commissioner was informed and he gave approval for it,” said Kemosi.
Mose said the Gusii community was firmly behind Ruto despite the turn of events.