Police disperse pro-Bobi Wine protesters in Nairobi
Police on Friday dispersed a crowd from Jeevanjee Gardens in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, as it planned a demonstration to demand Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s resignation.
The officers, who had teargas, confiscated the group’s placards before protest activities began.
The group, including Ugandans living and working in Kenya, intended to march from the park to the Ugandan embassy in Riverside.
They said their main objective was to voice displeasure with Uganda’s recent elections, which they alleged were neither free nor fair.
They claimed that National Unity Platform candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, was denied his victory.
Wine has also made this claim and intends to take court action. President Museveni insists, however, that there was no cheating.
Central Sub-County Deputy Police Commander Mbusa Awuor said he had not been notified of the peaceful protest and that it was therefore illegal.
However, a letter seen by the Nation indicates the Nairobi County police commander was notified on January 19. The letter was copied to the Central police station commander.
Bob Njagi from Haki Africa said, “We notified the regional police commander. We have even received a call from the Office of the President with inquiries on who we are and what we are doing. We don’t have a problem with the Kenyan government and have followed due procedures.”
When probed on the letter, which had the regional commander’s stamp, Mr Awuor did not give a response.
Some of the people at Jeevanjee criticised the group and asked them to leave and not disrupt their peace.
Activist Anthony Muraya said, however, “These Ugandans are yearning for democratic change in their motherland. It is time things changed for the better,” he added.
Mr Muraya said they will regroup and decide their next step.
“We will hold another demonstration next week. This time, we will go above and beyond what the police are asking for.”
Last Thursday, Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid was arrested alongside other human rights activists while trying to hold a press conference outside Ugandan House to demand democracy in Uganda.