Kenya: Tight Security Ahead of Nasa Plan to Swear in Raila, Kalonzo

Uhuru Park in Nairobi, the venue of the planned swearing-in of Nasa leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka on January 30, 2018.
30 January 2018

Security has been tightened in Nairobi ahead of Nasa's plan to swear in Mr Raila Odinga and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka as the "people's president and deputy" at Uhuru Park.

Nairobi Regional Commissioner Bernard Leparmarai Monday said officers will patrol the city to ensure that Kenyans are guaranteed their safety as they continue with their activities.

He maintained that police will ensure "no illegal event meant to disrupt the normal activities of the residents" will take place in any part of the city.

"We have enough police officers who will maintain security and I urge everyone to continue with their businesses," said Mr Leparmarai.

He told Daily Nation that police in Nairobi are equal to the task, although he declined to say how many officers will be deployed.


On Sunday, Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome maintained that nobody will be allowed at Uhuru Park Tuesday, saying that police had not been notified about the planned assembly as required by the law.

Mr Koome said police will move in to stop two functions planned for Tuesday because they may result in confrontations leading to injuries or even deaths.

The Nairobi County government had last week announced that it had closed the park indefinitely.

In a statement, the Governor Mike Sonko said no gatherings will take place at the grounds.


But Nasa CEO Norman Magaya insisted during a televised interview that the coalition will continue with its plans at Uhuru Park.

"Mr Koome is really struggling to look for reasons to stop us from using the venue. Police are supposed to be apolitical and serve all Kenyans equally but Mr Koome has turned out to be pandering to the whims of Jubilee," he said, adding that it was their right to get police protection.

He maintained that the venue of the event would not change, and that police would need more than half a million officers to stop the "millions of supporters who will come for the event".

Nairobi police chiefs met in Nairobi Monday to strategise on their Tuesday operations, with special focus on ensuring that no one is allowed into Uhuru Park and that businesses are not disrupted.

Claims on social media that the military would be used to maintain order and that a curfew had been imposed were dismissed by Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka.

"Kenyans are urged to ignore it and go about their normal business unperturbed," he said.

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