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Jubilee cancels weekend rallies, warns Kimaiyo against taking Kenya ‘backward’

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President Uhuru Kenyatta’s jubilee alliance has suspended its rallies scheduled for this weekend ostensibly to avert a bitter confrontation with the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD)

“We have decided to call off the weekend rally, they will have the whole day to welcome the pm we wish them well, for jubilee coalition we are not having rally. Whether cord, or jubilee we should not use any forum for ethnic polarisation and incitement to violence,” Jubilee said Wednesday evening.

After a lengthy meeting with the inspector general (IG) of police David Kimaiyo, national assembly majority leader Adan Duale and his senate counterpart Kithure Kindiki of the ruling alliance said it had taken the decision to allow the opposition to welcome their leader Raila Odinga

The two however turned their heat on the IG accusing him of misinterpreting the law by earlier cancelling all public rallies.

“We had a serious one hour deliberation on the IG’s earlier decision to ban political rallies indefinitely. But, we have reminded him that he must respect the constitution. He cannot use a subsidiary legislation to override the constitution that guarantees Kenyans freedom of assembly and expression,” Duale said outside Jogoo house.

He said the jubilee had decided to call off their planned rallies for the weekend due to intelligence reports tabled by the IG but urged the police boss to take firm action against any politician who may utter sentiments likely to cause ethnic tension in the country.

“The IG cannot attempt to take this country back into the dark. We wrote to his office to explain what prompted him to issue that statement, and warned him never again shall he issue such a ban without meeting the core leadership of the country from both sides,” Duale added

Kindiki defended the belated decision by jubilee to cancel its rallies saying the move was critical to allow the opposition to have a field day to conduct their activities even as he warned against ethnic polarisation.

“We do not think it is advisable for us to continue with a rally when the opposition is having a rally, we are not in competition, we are the ruling coalition. They have the opportunity to criticise us (Jubilee) with dignity and decorum but we do not welcome incitement,” Kindiki said

“We want to make it clear that the jubilee is conscious that the country has come from a difficulty and divided past, people have lost lives and limbs because of fighting the freedoms we enjoy today and we will not watch any office, person or institution to undermine the gains Kenyans have made in the last years,”

He said the office of the IG was an independent one mandate as the custodian of the constitution and urged police to be vigilant and track down on hate mongers from whichever political groupings

“ We are concerned that perhaps what is happening could lead the country to the wrong path of division, while CORD have responsibility to welcome their leader, at the same time we are telling the people of Kenya that this country requires responsible politics, not those that divide through, politics, religion or sectarian grounds,” Kindiki said

The ruling alliance reminded CORD that they were more than prepared and ready for them:” if it is politics we will engage with them, if need be we may want to respond to the issues they raise at a time which is appropriate with proper,”

– The Standard

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