Muthama condemns police for dispersing UDA meeting in Mombasa

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
Former Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama. Photo/PD/file

Reuben Mwambingu and Harrison Kivisu

A meeting of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) aspirants from Coast counties at a Mombasa hotel yesterday ended in disarray after police dispersed it.

Nyali sub-county Police Commander Daniel Masaba said the meeting,  which was attended by top UDA officials including interim chairman Johnstone Muthama and secretary-general Veronica Maina, was illegal and had contravened Covid-19 protocols.

He said the owner of the hotel will be arrested for allowing an illegal meeting in the premises.

“The meeting was illegal because all political gatherings have been banned. We were never notified of any meeting and even if we were notified we could not allow such a meeting,” Masaba told journalists at the venue. 

But Muthama said the police were being used to frustrate the party

 “This is victimisation to the UDA party because of its association to Deputy President William Ruto,there are some people who fear this party is going to form the next government, therefore they are against it,” said Muthama.

The aspirants claimed the meeting was ordered by Ruto who delegated other UDA officials to officiate the meeting.

“The Deputy President himself had instructed us to convene this meeting so that young aspirants can be trained on the bottom up approach of leadership.

We were shocked to see police coming to disrupt us,” said Esther Chepngetich, who is UDA aspirant for Mombasa Woman Representative.

The meeting turned chaotic after a contingent of around 20 officers from Nyali Police Station stormed the hotel and ordered everyone to leave.

According to UDA coordinator in charge of Jomvu sub-county Ali Mazrui, the officers arrived at the hotel in two police vehicles.

Those in attendance said that by the time the officers arrived, key leaders had already addressed meeting and were in the process of leaving the venue.

The aspirants condemned the police action, saying it was only aimed at frustrating the UDA party.

“The police were notified of the meeting on time and we have followed all the necessary protocols.

Everybody had a face mask and we were observing social distance. However they still came and disrupted us. It is clear our rights are being trampled on,” said John Gatimu Kinyanjui, UDA aspirant for Kongowea ward.

They accused the government for “misusing police to trample on the rights of citizens”.

“Killings and muggings are reported daily in Mombasa, police should channel their energy towards offering security instead of violating the fundamental rights of citizens. This meeting was very organised and peaceful,” said  Chepngetich.

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