Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho/FILE
BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,12TH MARCH 2017-Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho was on Sunday denied a police permit to hold a rally at Mvita grounds in Mombasa.
Joho was scheduled to hold a parallel rally at Mvita just a few meters from Tononoka grounds where president Uhuru Kenyatta t and his deputy William Ruto were also holding a Jubilee Party rally.
Explaining the decision, Makupa OCS John Owuoth said the security team in Mombasa is stretched with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee rally at Tononoka grounds which is also taking place today (Sunday).
Confirming the denial, Mvita MP Abdulswamaad Nassir said the Joho rally was cancelled after police refused to grant the opposition leaders a permit to hold their rally.
The legislator termed the action a violation of their constitutional rights, adding that the ‘excuse’ given was shallow.
“If one has a meeting here another cannot have another meeting in another place. That was a shallow excuse that was given. We feel that the police have broken our constitutional rights and we want to say this again that intimidation will not work,” he remarked.
Mr Nassir stated that ODM officials had received information that there was an intention of harming residents who would attend the meeting and urged residents to stay away from the rally.
“We have heard that there was an intention to harm our people. That political anger over the past few days was going to be unleashed on our people of Mvita and the larger Mombasa. We have therefore come to the decision to urge our people not to attend the meeting,” he advised.
However, speaking in Mombasa during his weekly press briefing, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said police would not allow political meetings that are likely to jeopardise security.
“First I wouldn’t know whether ODM has planned a rally or not. I don’t plan for them; I don’t participate in their meetings. But any meeting that might jeopardise the security of the residents at any given time is something that security agents take a view about,” he said.