Uhuru, Ruto in Mombasa as police approve DP's Tononoka rally

Preparations at Mombasa's Tononoka grounds where DP Ruto is expected to lead Kenya Kwanza campaigns on August 4, 2022

Photo credit: Kevin Odit I Nation Media Group

Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday expressed concern that he could be locked out of Mombasa’s Tononoka grounds, where he planned to hold a Kenya Kwanza rally.

The event is billed as the final push by the alliance to galvanise Coast voters to back its candidates in next Tuesday’s polls.

"Today we are to have our last rally in Mombasa but our competitors are using the police to block us. Police claim we cannot have the rally because President Uhuru Kenyatta is in the coastal city," said the DP at a press conference at his home in Karen, Nairobi.

He condemned politicians using government machinery to prevent Kenya Kwanza leaders from holding their planned rallies in the remaining days before the elections.

"We are also having challenges in holding our planned last rally at Nyayo stadium this weekend despite booking the venue and getting approval from the police," said DP Ruto.

At the Mombasa venue, organisers were ordered by the police to stop setting up a dais. President Uhuru Kenyatta was expected to tour and commission several projects a few kilometres away.

“We have been asked by the police to stop putting up the dais and any other arrangement for the meeting until we get more orders. We do not know if the rally has been cancelled or postponed until later in the day,” said Mr Willie Wanyonyi, one of the planners.

Government administrators await the arrival of President Uhuru Kenyatta at the new Makupa Bridge on August 4, 2022.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi I Nation Media Group

A senior police officer, who did not want to be named, said they were asked to stop the planned rally, which was supposed to happen in the same constituency the President was to tour.

"We cannot have two parallel rallies in Mvita," he said.

But Mombasa UDA senator candidate Hamisi Mwaguya said they were later allowed to use the stadium.

Nation.Africa was unable to reach county police bosses, as they were said to be busy preparing to receive the President.

President Kenyatta will tour the Coast region starting today to launch his legacy projects, including the Sh4.5 billion 457-metre Makupa bridge.

He will also officially open the new Kipevu oil terminal at the Mombasa port.

The eight-lane Makupa bridge has reduced congestion, with motorists taking about 10 minutes from Moi International Airport, Mikindani, Changamwe, Magongo and Jomvu to the Mombasa city centre.

The Head of State will also launch the construction of the Mombasa-Miritini metre-gauge railway line.

The Jubilee administration has pumped more than Sh1.4 trillion into various landmark projects on the Coast to revive the region’s infrastructure and economy.

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