Showdown looms as police ban talks

Tuesday April 17 2012

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga's. Photo/FILE

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga's. Photo/FILE 

By BILLY MUIRURI [email protected] AND ANNE NJERI [email protected]

A confrontation is likely to erupt between police and organisers of a meeting set to take place in Limuru on Wednesday to counter recent gatherings by the Gema and Kamatusa groups.

This follows a ban on the political meeting, scheduled to take place at the Jumuia Conference Centre, by the police.

The organisers, led by former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga, however, said on Tuesday they will defy the police order and go ahead with the event as planned.

“We shall go there. Let the police tell us about the ban face-to-face,” said Mr Njenga in a statement read by his elder brother Njoroge Kamunya.

Police last evening cancelled the meeting, dubbed Limuru 2B, that is meant to counter earlier ones held by supporters of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto.

One of the convenors of the meeting, Mr Ngunjiri Wambugu, said he had been called by the Central police boss, Mr John Mbijiwe, who told him that the government had cancelled the meeting due to security reasons.

“As far as we are concerned, we have followed the law by notifying the police about this meeting. We cannot call off an event we have been organising for months due to purported security threats,” said Mr Wambugu.

Mr Wambugu said before Mr Mbijiwe called him he had received an e-mail from the Lari police boss Mr Joshua Opiyo Ligala, notifying him about the cancellation.

Mr Ligala said the police had discovered that there were plans by organised gangs to cause mayhem during the gathering.

On Tuesday, Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, another convenor of the meeting, said leaders from across the political divide were set to attend the Limuru meeting.

He said the meeting was aimed at bringing together Kenyans from all regions to champion non-tribal alliances ahead of the coming general election.