10 April 2013

Kenya: Nairobi Security Tightened but Hotspots Calm

Security was yesterday beefed up in the city but with no signs of demonstrations by members of the Cord alliance as had earlier been predicted by the police.

Hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes police were deployed to provide security and direct traffic as the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto went on at the Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The ceremony was attended by more than fifteen head of states and international and foreign dignitaries.

After the ceremony, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said there were no major incidents and applauded residents for maintaining law and order.

On Sunday, the police had warned that some members of Cord were planning to disrupt yesterday's ceremony.

Contray to police predictions, most residents in areas mapped out as violence hotspots went on with their normal duties while thousands of others thronged the Kasarani stadium to witness the ceremony.

Kibera, Kawangware, Mathare and Korogocho were calm with residents saying they were not interested in rioting and demonstrating.

Police at the weekend said they had narrowed down on 45 people who were planning to disrupt the event.

Yesterday, a group of youth from the Kamukunji Pressure Group in Kibera denied the claims that four of their colleagues who had been summoned by the CID were advocates of violence.

"None of those individuals who have been mentioned are criminals. We are infact preaching peace as we talk now," said John Otieno from Kibera.

His sentiments were echoed by former Woodely councillor Mwangi Njehia who said two the individuals, Jeconia Junga and Edward Ketta, are known for preaching peace in the Kibera.

Dagoretti police boss Mathew Giyo said police were deployed in Kawangware and other areas but no ugly incidents had been reported by late in the evening.

Contingents of police were seen patrolling the city centre which remained deserted for the better part of the day.

Most private motorists opted to stay away from the roads. Visiting head of states were driven to the venue through Forest Road and Thika Highway. More than 1,000 traffic police were lined up along the roads to direct traffic flow.

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