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Drama unfolds as Raila Odinga faces resistance in Murang’a ahead of planned Azimo meeting

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Azimio leader Raila Odinga

The Murang’a County Security Committee in Kenya has declared opposition leader Raila Odinga and his political allies unwanted in the region.

The announcement was made after Mr Odinga was invited to attend an anti-government meeting in Murang’a town on Thursday. The former Murang’a Governor, Mwangi Wa Iria, had announced that Mr Odinga would be the guest of honour at the event.

However, the Murang’a County police commander, Mathiu Kainga, stated that the organisers of the meeting did not meet the public order dictates that require four days’ notice of such events.

He added that unless Mr Odinga and his associates planned to visit Murang’a as normal citizens without engaging in public gatherings, they remained unwelcome and would not be allowed to hold public rallies.

Mr Wa Iria criticised the security committee for allegedly playing funny games with democracy and warned of a potential for tension if it did not back down.

He accused the committee of not inviting him to attend their security meetings and asked why the police would want to attend Azimio rallies when they did not invite them to attend their rallies.

The law in Kenya requires individuals to notify the area officer commanding a police station before holding a public rally so that security can be organised if the gathering is permitted to proceed. Mr Kainga warned that contravening the declared position of outlawing the rallies would be countered by the law.

Mr Wa Iria said that the planned meetings were peaceful and aimed to address issues related to electoral justice, equity in government representation, the economy, and wealth creation.

He insisted that plans to host Mr Odinga in Mother’s Union Hall and later address the public on the streets remained in place. Mr Wa Iria defined the meeting’s agenda as a platform for those who feel that the August 9 General Election servers should be audited, those reeling in high taxation, and those who feel the government is lying about the economy.

The former governor, who had expressed interest in vying for the Presidency in the August 9 General Election but was disqualified, later affiliated himself with Mr Odinga’s presidential bid.

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