CS Joseph Nkaissery threatens to arrest CORD leaders

Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery in a past press briefing. Photo/Courtesy]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has threatened to arrest Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders for apparent contravention of the law.

Speaking in Kajiado on Sunday, Nkaissery said that the government had given CORD leaders too much leeway, which has allegedly allowed them to engage in unlawful activities, and added that they will not tolerant the opposition’s open challenge to the government.

“We will not give CORD any more room to challenge the government of the day. We will rein in CORD leaders Raila Odinga, Moses Wetangula, Kalonzo Musyoka and Senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Johnstone Muthama (Machakos) if they continue breaking the law,” he said.

He noted that CORD would not be allowed to hold parallel Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Park on Wednesday, adding that only the president is allowed to preside over such events.

“CORD leader Raila Odinga is not the president and should therefore not take over functions that are a preserve of the Head of State,” he noted.

“Madaraka Day is a national holiday and therefore only the president is allowed to preside over such functions. By organizing a parallel rally at Uhuru Park, CORD is contravening the law and we will not allow them to do that,” he warned.

The Interior CS asserted that there had been minimal use of force in the thwarting of CORD’s protests against IEBC, adding that the police will not hesitate to employ maximum force to prevent any further contravention of the law.

Nkaissery’s remarks come amid a growing tussle between CORD, the police and Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministries over who owns the rights to use Uhuru Park on Wednesday.

While CORD leader Raila Odinga maintains that the meeting will go on, the Church Bishop Lucy Ngunjiri has said that she will not cancel her four-day crusade scheduled for Tuesday, May 31 Monday to Friday, May 3, 2016 at the same venue.

CORD’s meeting was thrown into disarray on Friday after Nairobi police commander Japheth Koome sent a letter saying the venue had already been booked for a four-day crusade by Prayer Boundaries Ministries.

The letter, dated May 27, 2016, was written in response to a corresponding letter from KANU Secretary General Nick Salat requesting to hold a rally at Uhuru Park.

“Please be informed that the venue, Uhuru Park, is already booked for three days by Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministries,” read the letter in part.

“Your notification of participation on Madaraka Day at the same venue is, therefore, not approved.”

In a quick rejoinder Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero stated that the allocation of venues is under his jurisdiction, noting that the county council had already reserved the venue for the CORD rally.

Kidero released a letter dated May 26, Okaying CORD’s request to hold their rally at Uhuru Park on June 1.

“We are in receipt of your letter dated 22nd May on the above reference subject ‘request to hold a rally at Uhuru Park grounds’,” stated Kidero in the letter.

“We have directed the Director of Environment Water and Energy whose office is in charge of Uhuru Park to reserve the venue for your use on 1st June as per your request.”

CORD had made the request on May 22 while the Church had made their request on May 26, according to the letter in our possession.

While Nairobi has been the venue for all the major national celebrations, the government moved this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations to Afraha Stadium in Nakuru in the spirit of devolution. The event will be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

CORD has claimed that since there will be no major celebration in Nairobi, their rally is aimed at filling the void and provide Kenyans will an event to celebrate the strides that the country has made over the years.


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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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