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Babu Owino threatens to mobilise demos over ban on betting firms – VIDEO

The stand-off pitting betting fIrms and the government has taken a political twist after Embakasi East lawmaker Paul Ongili aka Babu Owino threatened to marshal Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards fans for a peaceful demonstration, if the government doesn’t renew the licences of betting firms in the country.

Babu Owino spoke on Tuesday during a press conference at a Nairobi hotel, an event which was also attended by 12 other Members of Parliament.

The controversial lawmaker further accused Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Mataiang’i, for meddling in this matter.

“Let it be known to the Cabinet Secretary, that from next week we are going to mobilise youth in this nation… Gor Mahia fans, come out… AFC fans, come out… we are going to peacefully demonstrate against you,” he said.

These two popular football clubs are among the most affected since the government declined to renew betting licences of about 27 firms, incluidng that of SportPesa, which sponsors the two clubs.

In turn, SportPesa recently pulled the plug on a number of sponsorship deals with Football Kenya Federation, Kenya Premier League, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards valued at millions of shillings.

Speaking at the event, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala said it was not the job of Kenya Revenue Authority to criminalize betting firms.