A showdown looms between police and National Super Alliance (Nasa) supporters who plan to continue with a banned prayer meeting outside the Supreme Court.
Speaking to Nairobi News, Nairobi police boss Japhet Koome rejected Nasa’s application to hold the prayers where the presidential election petition will be heard.
“Please note that I will not allow any person to disrupt the court proceedings, hence the request by Nasa is rejected,” Mr Koome said.
But in a statement to newsrooms on Saturday, ODM’s Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen said the party is appalled by Mr Koome’s decision and could not understand why he outlawed a prayer meeting.
Mr Ong’wen said they expected the police would provide security during the activity.
“We cannot allow dark forces to roll back democratic gains Kenyans have fought and won in the last 25 years.
“We shall resist this creeping dictatorship. As a party and Nasa coalition, we shall be faithful to the law but defy illegal edicts,” Mr Ong’wen said.
He went one: “Our innocent expectations were that the police would provide security to the worshippers and ensure that the Sunday offertory was protected from those who might have I’ll intents.”
He added: “It is even more incomprehensible that the police can purport to outlaw a prayer meeting on Sunday – a universally recognized day of worship for many religions, denominations and sects in Kenya.”
On Saturday, security was enhanced outside the court building ahead of the pre-trial conference at 7pm.
Mr Koome said the National Transport and Safety Authority will not allow anyone to disrupt the court proceedings.
“Note that City Hall way, Taifa Road and part of Wabera Street will remain closed from both vehicular and human traffic.
“Also the High court parking will remain closed for vehicle and small scale traders (hawkers).
“This applies on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday,” he said.
A week after he was declared the winner by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked police to exercise restraint when dealing with protesters.
President Kenyatta noted that it is lawful to hold a demonstration as long as it is orderly.
He reiterated that there is no need to fight over an election outcome, adding that police are ready to facilitate peaceful demonstrations.
“The police are willing and ready, say you want to have a demonstration at this place and at this time, organise it with the police.
“You do not need my permission or Jubilee’s permission. It is there in the law, just do it peacefully, orderly and do not interrupt the lives of other Kenyans while expressing your views. That is allowed and nobody has a problem,” he said.
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