cord permitted to hold freedom rally

The high court has ruled that opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) can carry out its own Freedom Rally in the capital, Nairobi, tomorrow, overruling a ban imposed by the government.

In the ruling, police chief Joseph Boinnet was given a directive by the court to ensure there is enough security before and after the rally so that it does not turn bloody.

Justice George Odunga also urged the opposition to ensure that, during the freedom rally, other people’s rights are upheld and also to avoid any speech that will incite supporters to violence.

He also asked the coalition not to make statements that weigh much on ethnic division and propaganda. Making the ruling on Tuesday, the judge called on the police to behave like a true security agency during, before, and after the rally.

“This is to ensure other Kenyans go on about their businesses without interruption.”

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The coalition took the case to court after the government banned them from entering Uhuru park to hold a parallel freedom rally.

Cord planned a similar Madaraka Day celebrations, a move that was contested by Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministries who claimed they had booked the same venue .

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Government spokesman Erick Kiraithe said the decision to ban the two rallies was arrived at by the National Security Advisory Committee, after it was found that the two ceremonies might endanger securty.

Cord has plans to hold the meeting to reflect the official one to be led by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on the same day.

On Tuesday, Cord principals and Uhuru met at State House to discuss the IEBC standoff and determine whether Cord’s planned Madaraka Day rally in Uhuru Park will go ahead.