Police raid Mombasa Hotel after tip-off on DP Ruto supporters' meeting

Drama as police raid UDA party meeting

File image of police in Mombasa County

There was drama at the Terrace ?Villas Resort in Mombasa on Thursday when police officers raided the premises to disperse an ongoing meeting.

The meeting had been organized by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party as part of a grassroots mobilization initiative ahead of the 2022 General Election.

The meeting was attended by party Chairman Johnstone Muthama and Secretary-General Veronica Maina.

Police invaded the meeting forcing the party officials, members and aspirants to evacuate unceremoniously.

The former Machakos Senator is said to have fled from the venue just minutes before the police arrived.

Speaking to reporters, Sec-Gen Maina termed the interruption as harassment noting that it had not been a political gathering and the Covid-19 safety protocols had been enforced as directed by the Ministry of Health.

Some of those who attended the meeting attempted to negotiate with the police to be allowed to eat the food which had already been provided for the delegates.

Police explain why UDA meeting was dispersed

Nyali sub-county police commander Daniel Masaba who had reported to the scene with a score of his officers explained that the meeting had been disbanded due to a breach of safety protocols.

"No gathering of people like this is allowed, especially political meeting," he stated.

He insisted that the meeting was illegal in accordance with directives issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta during his national address on May 1, 2021.

"The prohibition against political gatherings is extended until otherwise directed; and all the other containment measures and guidelines that are not expressly set-out in this Address remain in force, and shall be enforced dutifully," the president said at the time.

UDA run-ins with police

This is not the first time the party associated with Deputy President William Ruto has had a run-in with law enforcement officers.

During a recent by-election in Bonchari constituency, Kisii County, a number of the UDA party supporters were arrested on claims of holding an illegal gathering.

A section of the party leaders were similarly arrested during the Msambweni by-election held in December 2020.

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