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Chaos rocks Uhuru Kenyatta, Jubilee rally in Marsabit

Wednesday July 26 2017

Police use tear gas to disperse rowdy crowds at

Police use tear gas to disperse rowdy crowds at Moi Girls' in Marsabit on July 26, 2017. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IRENE MWENDWA
By IRENE MWENDWA
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Chaos has rocked a venue in Marsabit where President Kenyatta is expected to campaign today.

The rivalry between two gubernatorial candidates— incumbent Ukur Kanacho Yattani (Frontier Alliance Party) and Mohamud Mohamed Ali, alias Abshiro of Jubilee— twice turned ugly at Moi Girls on Wednesday.

ROCKS

Mr Yattani and Mr Abshiro come from two dominant tribes in the county— Gabbra and Boran— that want one of their own in the top county seat.

Clan and tribe play a major role in Marsabit politics, as in the rest of northern and eastern Kenya.

The violence also had all the hallmarks of the rivalry that has been playing out in areas where politicians who lost in Jubilee Party primaries have chosen to support Mr Kenyatta's re-election bid.

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Some winners of the ruling party's tickets are against it and want their rivals to keep off Jubilee events.

Jubilee and Frontier Alliance Party supporters
Jubilee and Frontier Alliance Party supporters scamper for safety following chaos at Moi Girls' in Marsabit on July 26, 2017. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
SRespective supporters of the two leaders attacked one another with rocks after a shouting-and-singing match failed to produce a clear winner.

The first face-off was in the morning before President Kenyatta and his Jubilee brigade landed in the northern county that borders Ethiopia.

The second was after the two leaders left Moyale for Marsabit town.

The two camps attacked each other with stones as they chanted in support of their leaders, who met in Moyale, hugged and addressed the rallies there. 

Police disperse rowdy crowds at Moi Girls' in
Police disperse rowdy crowds at Moi Girls' in Marsabit on July 26, 2017. Three people were shot. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

At one point, Jubilee supporters accused police of failing to rein in Frontier Alliance Party supporters.

Calm was only restored after police intervened, with more security personnel being called in to help restore order.

Police disperse supporters of the Frontier
Police disperse supporters of the Frontier Alliance Party at Moi Girls' in Marsabit on July 26, 2017. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Apart from campaigning, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are expected to initiate infrastructure projects in the county, including Badassa Dam.

In his rally in Moyale, Mr Kenyatta said people were free to elect Yattani or his rival and pledged to ensure the loser gets a job in government.