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Jubilee, Nasa to hold parallel rallies in Mombasa

Jubilee and Nasa head to Mombasa on Saturday for parallel rallies as the hunt for 1.7 million votes in the region heightens.

Ruling Jubilee Party will be at Mvita grounds while opposition Nasa (National Super Alliance) will hold their rally at Tononoka grounds.

ODM deputy party leader Hassan Joho, regarded by the Jubilee administration as a stumbling block in its efforts to penetrate the region, on Friday inspected Tononoka grounds.

Jubilee said their arrangements are 75 per cent complete as Mr Joho welcomed them to Mombasa. The two grounds are not far from each other.

Speaking to journalists during the inspection of the grounds, Governor Joho said: “I am encouraging Jubilee to continue with their plans to hold their rally at Mvita grounds. I hope they will not change their mind. It is important that they continue with their plans.

“Let us show the country how strong democracy is in the county of Mombasa. It will be true democracy at work. Let them hold their rally as we hold ours. There is no problem,” said Mr Joho.

He said ODM party Raila Odinga will attend their rally.

A communications official of Jubilee, Abdulswamad Ali, said the rally will be attended by all the senior party leaders from the six counties in Coast region.

“We will hold our rally at Mvita grounds because that is what we had planned earlier, not to compete with ODM,” said Mr Ali.

On the Tononoka rally, Mr Joho said they had notified the police about it and had been given the go ahead.

“The Constitution says Kenyans are free to hold rallies and picket. There is nothing like getting a permit. You only notify the police, something we have done, and they replied that permission is granted,” he said and displayed the notification to the media.

POLICE HARASSMENT

Urban police boss Lucas Ogara said the ODM leadership had been given the permission to hold their rally but added that he was not aware of the one planned by Jubilee.

“Makupa OCS informed me that they (ODM) have notified them and permission granted. I am, however, not aware of the other one by Jubilee,” said Mr Ogara.

Mr Joho asked the police to provide security for their supporters who will travel from all the six Coast counties.

At the same time he blamed the police for the disruption of ODM rallies in Kinango and Lunga Lunga in Kwale County on Thursday.

He said the ongoing harassment by the police is winning him and the opposition more popularity and giving them the impetus to win.

He said the Nasa leadership stands for peace and abhors violence, which the government is perpetuating by use of armed police officers.

The governor – who has continuously found himself on the wrong side of the authority – said his fellow governors – John Mruttu (Taita Taveta) and Amason Kingi (Kilifi) – are peaceful people who have always tried to calm down possible violent situations.

“The governors were the ones who calmed down the situation at Mpeketoni last week when we were pelted with stones and mangoes,” he said.

He accused President Kenyatta of using the Kenya Revenue Authority to harass him by wrongly demanding taxes from his businesses to cripple him financially.

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