Activists in Mombasa has vowed to continue with their Monday protests until the government cancels its directive to use SGR as the sole mode of transporting cargo from the Mombasa port. The protesters want the government to allow trucks to transport cargo at the Mombasa port.
The protests took place on Monday despite the government announcing that it had suspended an order directing all cargo be transported via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Transporters were, however, reportedly denied access to the port of Mombasa to identify the cargo they would wish to transport despite the suspension of the order. During the riots, at least 13 protesters were arrested at the Nyali Bridge. The protesters were bundled into two police vehicles and taken to Nyali Police Station.
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Transport was temporarily disrupted as the more than 20 police officers engaged the protesters in running battles on the Mombasa-Malindi highway.
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Nyali Sub County Police Commander Simon Thirikwa, who termed the demo as illegal, confirmed the arrests.
“Once you infringe the right of others then you are conducting an illegal demo,” Mr Thirikwa said.
Those arrested included truck drivers and activists from different human rights organisations in Mombasa.
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The activists included Haki Africa’s Executive Director Hussein Khalid, his rapid response officer Mathias Shippeta, Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri) rapid response officer Francis Auma and another official identified as Michael.
One of the protest leaders Mr Philip Jagero accused the police of harassing them despite the police being notified of the demos.
“We followed the due process of notifying the police about our demo on October 2, but what they have done to us is a clear indication that the Coastal people are denied the privileges enshrined in the Constitution.
We demand that our colleagues be freed,” said Mr Jagero who was accompanied by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir outside Nyali Police Station.