Police stop Kalonzo from addressing two rallies in Tharaka Nithi

Police in Tharaka Nithi have barred Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka from addressing two public meetings in Ndagani and Chuka Towns.

Kalonzo who is on a three-day tour of Mount Kenya East Region is expected to arrive in two towns on Monday afternoon on the second leg of his ‘meet the people’ tour.

The organisers of the tour led by Lawyer Kirimi Muturi had written to the Officer Commanding Chuka Police Station (OCS) on February 10, notifying the police and requesting for security during the meetings.

The OCS responded by sending back the letter from the Wiper party with one handwritten sentence saying the meetings are not allowed.

“Noted. The meetings at Ndagani and Chuka bus stage are hereby declined” read the brief response from the police.

According to the police notification letter seen by the Nation, Muturi had indicated that Kalonzo and his entourage would have stopovers and that they would require security if need be.

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The Wiper party leader is accompanied by former Cabinet Secretaries Eugene Wamalwa and Peter Munya, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua and several Members of Parliament and MCAs on his tour.

Tharaka Nithi County Police Commander Zacheas Ng’eno said the organisers of the meetings had not complied with the law and hence the decision to cancel the rallies.

Ng’eno said the notification letter was received by the OCS on Sunday which contravened the legal provisions of at least three days’ notice.

“Today is February 12, the letter was written on 10 and delivered on February 11. That’s not how it is supposed to be” said the County Police Commander, warning the Wiper brigade will not be allowed to address their scheduled public meetings.

However, the team vowed to go ahead with the meetings saying they have satisfied the provisions of law and it is the Constitutional mandate of the National Police Service to provide them with adequate security.

Wambua said by purporting to outlaw a legitimate gathering of Kenyans, police were being used by the Kenya Kwanza government to curtail the basic freedoms of movement and association, which are enshrined in the Constitution.

“We will not allow anyone to take away our basic rights and freedoms. We will proceed with the meetings as planned because we have done nothing wrong” said Senator Wambua.

Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior dismissed attempts by police to bar his party boss from addressing the two meetings as unconstitutional and lacking any legal basis.

Governor Kilonzo said it was a notification of the meeting to the police.

“The freedom to assemble has no limitations except where there is a threat of security or breach of peace. In which case, the police ought to state clearly the threat to peace or security” he said.

Tharaka Nithi is the home county of Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki.

At Chuka bus park, organisers of the meeting had erected a huge screen showing a short documentary of Kalonzo.

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