Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir (centre) with Mvita ODM leaders brief journalists at Mvita Grounds in Mombasa County after they announced the cancellation of a planned ODM rally. Nassir dismissed police whom he accused of giving flimsy reasons and denying ODM security for their meeting. [PHOTO: GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].
The State cancelled a rally planned by the Orange Democratic Movement at Mvita Grounds in Mombasa, about two kilometres from Tononoka Grounds where President Uhuru Kenyatta led a Jubilee Party rally Sunday.
ODM had planned a concurrent rally and sought approval of Makupa police but were told they could not proceed with the function.
Orange Democratic Party (ODM) leaders in Mombasa County accused police of discrimination and bias over their failed political rally in Mvita.
Speaking in Mombasa, Mvita MP, Mr Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir said that police erred by telling them (ODM) that their planned meeting could not go on since Jubilee Party was holding their meeting with President Uhuru in attendance and that a mega religious meeting presided over by televangelist, Prophet Owuor in Mombasa .
”Due to the Jubilee rally at Tononoka and mass service being presided over by Prophet Owuor , we have exhausted our strength,” said a letter to ODM Mombasa County chairman, Mr Mohamed Hatimy dated March 11,2017.
Owuor’s rally was held in Kizingo area of Mombasa, about three kilometres from Mvita Grounds.
The letter signed by Makupa Police OCS , Chief Inspector of Police , John Owuoth added that ODM letter (notice) on intended rally dated March 11th, 2017 was time barred as it had reached police late.
”The letter reached us March 11th contrary to Public Order Act which requires organisers to give us adequate time to organise. The notice was supposed to reach us 72 hours before the scheduled date,” Owuoth said.
But Nassir said that that the reasons being advanced by police over their inability to provide security to the ODM rally do not hold.
”Are our security forces ill prepared to handle multiple meetings in an electioneering year when each and every police party in angling for votes ?” posed Nassir.
He dismissed suggestions that the ODM rally was planned as a reaction to Jubilee’s Tononoka rally.
” We had long planned for our rally and there is no way we will be reacting to what our main competitors are doing,” he said.
He said that in fortnight from now, ODM will be holding its own rally in Mombasa and expect to get police to provide security.
ODM Mvita chairman, Mr Abdulhakim Mohamed said that they are peace loving party and will not in any way use unorthodox means to gain popularity.
” We urge President Uhuru to address real issues affect Kenyans and stop insulting Kenyans with opposing views,” Mohaqmed said.