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Raila directs action against police boss over Limuru chaos

Thursday April 19 2012

Police erect a roadblock on the road leading to the Jumuia Conference Centre Limuru, the venue of the Limuru 2B meeting called to counter recent Gema and Kamtusa gatherings April 18,2012. Prime Minister Raila Odinga ordered the Internal Security minister to take

Police erect a roadblock on the road leading to the Jumuia Conference Centre Limuru, the venue of the Limuru 2B meeting called to counter recent Gema and Kamtusa gatherings April 18,2012. Prime Minister Raila Odinga ordered the Internal Security minister to take "immediate action" against Kenya's police boss after his officers blocked the meeting. WILLIAM OERI  

By ANTHONY KARIUKI

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has ordered the Internal Security minister to take "immediate action" against Kenya's police boss after his officers blocked a youth meeting Wednesday.

In a statement, Mr Odinga also directed Prof George Saitoti to investigate alleged death claims made by Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara.

The PM said the police action to violently disperse the crowd that was heading to the venue of the Limuru 2B meeting was a violation of the Constitution.

"Kenyans were yesterday (Wednesday) treated to a spectacle that they thought had been banished from their lives with their new Constitution.

"The sight of police officers putting up roadblocks on a major thoroughfare and repeatedly firing rounds of tear gas at hundreds of perfectly peaceful people caused intense alarm," said Mr Odinga.

"The police did not maintain law and order as they are required to do."

Under the National Accord and Reconciliation Act that established the Coalition Government, Mr Odinga, as Prime Minister, has powers to supervise and coordinate government departments including ministries.

On Wednesday, the meeting called to counter recent Gema and Kamatusa gatherings turned chaotic after police blocked more than 2,000 youths who had turned up for the rally.

The officers lobbed teargas canisters and on several occasions used live ammunition to disperse the crowd.

Five people were arrested but the police could not confirm whether they would be charged in court on Thursday.

The operation was led by the Central police boss John Mbijjiwe and CID chief Henry Ondiek and lasted for about five hours before the youth inform