A meeting organized by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leadership in Nyali, Mombasa County, was on Thursday disrupted by police.
In a video seen by this writer, police officers stormed the venue of the meeting at Terrace Villa Resort dispersing members who were apparently on a tea break.
Polisi mjini Mombasa wametibua mkutano ulioandaliwa na wanachama wa UDA kwenye hoteli moja katika eneo la Nyali mjini Mombasa. pic.twitter.com/wAatk0eAGl
— Radio Citizen (@RadioCitizenFM) June 3, 2021
The police described the meeting as an illegal assembly where Covid-19 containment measures were not observed.
UDA chairman Johnson Muthama and the party’s secretary-general Veronica Maina reportedly fled the scene to escape arrest.
The forum brought together about 100 leaders and aspirants from Lamu, Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Tana River counties.
The party associated with Deputy President William Ruto recently launched a recruitment exercise in a bid to consolidate support ahead of the 2022 General Election.
“UDA Secretary-General Veronica Maina calls on supporters to continue recruiting new members to ensure the party achieves its target of having the highest number of registered members in the country,” the party tweeted shortly after the meeting was disrupted.
During a leaders and aspirants forum for Lamu, Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Tana River counties held in Mombasa, moments before police disrupted the meeting. pic.twitter.com/Fb87FtfhQF
— United Democratic Alliance (@UDAKenya) June 3, 2021
On Monday, police disrupted a similar meeting in Nyeri.
The authorities said the UDA officials had not been authorized to hold the meeting.
The aspirants, however, claimed the meeting was in a hotel and did not require a permit.
“We are in a hotel. You can’t tell us to get out of here. Are we not in a hotel? Why are the police being used like this?” the aspirants questioned.
Others questioned why their meeting was not allowed and required a permit for it to go on while President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga were holding rallies in Kisumu.