Full Statement: State Blocks CORD, Church From Holding Rally in Uhuru Park on Madaraka Day

May 31, 2016

Uhuru-ParkThe government has banned Cord and a church fighting over Uhuru Park from hosting any meeting at the grounds on Madaraka Day June 1.
Cord had planned parallel Madaraka Day celebrations at the grounds, a move that was contested by Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministries who claimed they had booked the same venue.
Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe on Monday said the booking of the premises by both parties was as a result of a minor, logistical issue. He said the decision to ban the two rallies was arrived at by the National Security Advisory Committee after noting that the two events posed a security threat.
He added that the Nyayo National stadium was also out of bounds for any activity on Wednesday, June 1 for the same reason.
Here’s the full press release:
“Let me begin on a positive note. As you all know, this Wednesday Kenya marks 53 years of internal self-rule. Madaraka Day is a time for national pride and patriotism. It is an opportunity to collectively consider where we have come from, celebrate our progress, reflect on the challenges we continue to face and renew our commitment to building a peaceful and prosperous nation.
The President will on Wednesday join citizens in commemorating this important national event, while presiding over celebrations that will held at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru. Every effort has been made to ensure a successful event. The grounds have been readied, the area has been well-secured and measures have been effected to ensure the organised flow of traffic. Our armed forces have also rehearsed and are ready for the celebratory parade as well as the President’s inspection. The Government wishes to invite all citizens to share in the festivities of that day, and to assure any citizen who choses to travel to Nakuru that we are committed to ensuring their safety both during their travel and at the event.
The public is also advised that concurrent celebrations will be held at county and sub-county efforts for those who are unable to attend the Nakuru event. In Nairobi, the county-level celebrations will take place in Starehe Constitutency at Pumwani Secondary School. Across the country, each sub-county will host similar celebrations and will communicate details regarding the whereabouts of these events.
The Government is pleased to partner with County Governments to host these events and looks forward to receiving the general public as we all celebrate Madaraka Day together.
Now, allow me to address a different but related issue regarding two other activities taking place on Wednesday.
We are aware that there has been significant confusion about who shall or will be holding an event this Wednesday at Uhuru Park. We can confirm that through an unfortunate administrative oversight both CORD and a religious group know as Prayer Beyond Boundaries Ministries managed to reserve the premises. This otherwise minor, logistical issue has regrettably become somewhat contentious and taken on unnecessary political dimensions. Consequently, the National Security Advisory Committee convened earlier today to evaluate the security threats emanating from a double booking of the grounds. Following lengthy deliberations, they decided upon the following:
First, it was decided that neither of the parties who had reserved the premises will be permitted to use the grounds on the material day. Both parties are therefore hereby requested to reorganise their activities accordingly.
Second, it was decided that the Nyayo Stadium shall remain closed on Wednesday and no functions will be held there.
We regret the inconvenience caused to those affected, but thank the public in advance for their compliance with these provisions which, in the considered view of the committee, are in the interest of public safety. Indeed, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring public safety, across the country both on Wednesday and otherwise.
With that said, I must now turn our attention to an emerging issue of grave concern to the Government and of the utmost National concern. Investigations into recent political activity have yielded intelligence to the effect that there are individuals within the country who are working with two neighbouring countries to subvert the Government and create conditions of instability, insecurity, lawlessness and strife. The Government considers these contemptible undertakings to be a betrayal of Kenya and Kenyans. These are acts of treason. Any person who collaborates with an enemy of Kenya is also an enemy of Kenya and will be met with the swift, full and unmitigated wrath of the law. In due course the Government will be revealing the results of our investigations, and unmasking these despicable traitors.
We urge public patience in this matter and promise to be uncompromising in our quest for national security.”

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