President Uhuru through government Spokesperson Eric Kiraithe has said that nobody is allowed to enter Uhuru Park grounds on Wednesday, June 1.
Based on the comment by the spokesperson, Cord leaders and their supporters are not allowed to hold any rally at Uhuru Park on Wednesday, and have been asked “to reorganize their activities accordingly.”
Kiraithe explained that the National Security Advisory Committee came up with the decision, and that the Nyayo National Stadium will also not be open to anybody.
The news came a few hours after the Nairobi county government nodded to Cord’s booking of the park, stating that the leaders had met with the requirements of the venue’s booking.
In a press conference held in Nairobi, Kiraithe said:
“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, across the country both on Wednesday and otherwise. This otherwise minor, logistical issue has regrettably become somewhat contentious and taken on an unnecessary political dimension.”
The government spokesperson added that the only grounds allowed for celebrations will be at Pumwani Secondary School.
In the same vein, a church outfit named ‘Prayers Without Boundaries Ministries’ which is being led by evangelist Lucy wa Ngunjiri has also been asked to keep off the ground after claimed booking.
Raila Odinga had said Cord rally which is set to run in parallel with the country’s freedom day celebration had been misunderstood as a sabotage to the government.
Read Also: Uhuru, Raila Head For Clash On Madaraka Day
He added that Cord had no plans of causing trouble in Nairobi during the rally, but will only “pray for truth, justice and reconciliation.”
Raila also announced that the party will include President Uhuru Kenyatta in their prayers and his deputy William Ruto.
“There has been a misconception that we intend to disrespect the government, disrespect the day and desecrate on it. Nothing could be further from the truth. There should be no form of confrontation over the issue. We are saddened by a plot by some people to deny Kenyans their right to meet and remember where they are and share in the message of unity”
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said Raila has no right to lead Madaraka Day celebrations which is the obligation of President Uhuru Kenyatta
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery also cautioned that Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga could be arrested on Madaraka Day if they go on with the rally.
Nkaissery, on Sunday, May 29, said that the former prime minister would not be allowed to subvert the presidency by holding a corresponding Madaraka Day celebration on June 1. Nkaissery said:
“CORD leader Raila Odinga is not the president and should therefore not take over functions that are a preserve of the Head of State… Madaraka Day is a national holiday and therefore only the president is allowed to preside over such functions.”
By organising a parallel rally at Uhuru Park on Madaraka Day, CORD will be contravening the law and they will not allowed, Nkaissery added.
He also pointed CORD co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula; and coalition’s co-chairmen senators James Orengo and Johnstone Muthama as those whom the government are watching seriously. They will not be given any more room to challenge the government of the day, he said.
The president will preside over Madaraka Day celebrations in Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, and county governments have been asked to hold respective fetes.
A High Court is due to rule on whether the opposition can go on with tomorrow’s Freedom Day rally banned by the government.
Recent opposition protests calling for electoral reform have seen deaths and police brutality. The opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy said it had planned to use Freedom Day as a day of reflection. also, the National Security Advisory Council (NSC) has warned that political rallies in the capital, Nairobi, threatens national security.
Freedom Day commemorates Kenya attaining internal self-government in 1963 with Jomo Kenyatta as Prime Minister. It achieved independence from British rule six months later.