The police in Kenya have withdrawn a rally permit issued to Western Kenya leaders, mostly key allies of Deputy President William Ruto, previously scheduled to take place concurrently with another BBI sensitization rally planned in Kakamega on Saturday. The former, organized to take place in five sub-counties neighboring Mumias sugar factory was allegedly aimed at staging a protest to pressurize the government to revive the sleeping economic giant.
While canceling the permit, Mumias Police Station OCS Albert Chebii expressed fears that there was likelihood of eruption of violence and explained that the move was in the best interest of the security situation in the area.
“You are advised to inform your participants of the changes and comply accordingly. Any person contravening this directive will be held criminally responsible,” reads part of Chebii’s letter to the rally organizers.
In a quick rejoinder, however, former sports cabinet secretary Rashid Echesa declared that the procession will go on as planned, arguing that no law had been contravened by the organizers.
“The meeting will go on because we have the permit duly given to us by the police in Mumias. We have no communication on the cancellation and our meeting is well on course,” Mr. Echesa stated.
The stalemate is likely to open up a new battlefront pitting state operatives and the infamous Tangatanga wing of the jubilee party led by DP Ruto. Ruto’s foot soldiers have in the recent past decried what they term as harassment and intimidation of their wing leader by government officers.
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