Police seal off Jeevanjee Gardens after rival people’s assemblies clash in Nairobi


By Irene Mativo

The historic Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi has been sealed off by police after two groups claiming to be the people’s assembly clashed.

The Bunge la Mwananchi session on Tuesday turned violent after members accused Opposition leader Raila Odinga of plotting to steal their idea.

This claims angered those allied to the people’s assembly being spearheaded by Raila’s National Super Alliance (NASA).

They accused their counterparts who have been holding sessions at the historic garden of being Jubilee sympathisers.

Election of officials to take charge of the group was disrupted following the melee.

Central police OCPD Robinson Thuku said that they will not allow any team to hold meeting at the garden if they are out to disrupt peace in the CBD.

“We have patrol around Jevanjee. No meeting will take place until they calm down and the Bunge la Wananchi hold meeting that will not be turned to political gatherings,” said Thuku.

During the confrontation, Pro-NASA members claimed that Jubilee had sponsored its supporters to steal NASA people’s Assembly idea from them in a move meant to ensure that plans to have the assembly in Nairobi County fails.

“Nairobi is a NASA stronghold; we will not accept Jubilee to sabotage it by sponsoring an election that will see People’s Assembly run by their people. It won’t happen as people assembly is Mr Odinga’s idea,” said Alex Odunga.

According to him, Jubilee was sponsoring the election of officials of the Jevanjee branch excluding those who converge at Ambassador hotel and City Hall to maliciously drive the Jubilee agenda and block NASA from dominating the assembly.

Nairobi County NASA youth leader Jonah Onyango accused Jubilee of using proxies to sabotage the Opposition’s agenda and vowed that such an exercise would not take place until all the branches are involved.

Hillary Shitanda a candidate for the position of chairman Bunge La Mwananchi Jeevanjee garden which was to hold an election ,was accused of being a Jubilee sympathizer.

Mr Shitanda was booed by the NASA supporters as he tried to defend the meeting which later turned chaotic.

“The Constitution of Bunge La Wananchi states that every two years, elections must be held. So members agreed that we put this board in place so that we can have the elections,” he told Nairobi Digest.

Shitanda ran into trouble by belittling Raila when he called on the opposition chief to be attending sessions by the assembly in Jeevanjee garden.