Cord wins battle for Uhuru Park on Madaraka Day
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has cleared the opposition alliance Cord to hold a rally at Uhuru Park on Madaraka Day.
Prior to Dr Kidero’s announcement, there had been uncertainty over the fate of the intended rally that is meant to counter President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Madaraka Day address to the nation from Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.
On Friday, there was a new twist to the saga when a renowned vernacular evangelist, Lucy Wangunjiri, indicated that her ministry had already booked Uhuru Park for a four-day gospel rally.
According to information doing the rounds on social media, an evangelical group by the name Prayer Beyond Boundaries Ministries had reportedly paid Sh150,000 to book the venue.
Official documents from City Hall show that Cord booked the venue on May 22, 2016 while the evangelical group made payment to book for the venue on May 25, 2016.
However, on Saturday morning Dr Kidero said the Cord rally would go on.
“The Nairobi City County Government, the trustees and custodians of Uhuru Park, are not interested in any confusion or politics grandstanding. We hereby make it public the parties with the full unhindered authority to use the venue come 1st June 2016,” Kidero wrote on Facebook.
Inspite of Dr Kidero’s pronouncement, evangelist, Lucy Wangunjiri has maintained that the gospel rally will go on as planned and called on Kenyans to stand with her in prayer.
In a Facebook post she also advised the politicians to find another venue for their event.
“To all my friends: Loved ones, stand with me in prayer for justice. I booked and paid Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi for Prayer Rally and 4 days of fasting. I hear there is a proposed political meeting same time. The politicians should look for other grounds and honor my earlier approved request to mobilize Kenyans to Pray and intercede for our Nation,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Cord had indicated, earlier in the week, that it would be holding a rally on Wednesday at Uhuru Park by writing to police demanding security on the said day.
Cord leader Raila Odinga is also on record saying that he intends to address a mammoth rally at Uhuru Park on Madaraka Day when President Kenyatta will be at Afraha Stadium to mark the same occasion.
On Saturday morning, Cord Secretariat, Norman Magaya took to social media to say that the said rally will go on.
“I confirm that the Cord rally set for Uhuru Park on 1st June is on. We have confirmation from the county govt granting us the venue,” Magaya said.
This statement was accompanied by an uploaded communique from the County Government authorizing the Cord to use the venue.
Cord is expected to use the rally to address the IEBC issue that has seen Nairobi’s CBD turned into a battlefield every Monday for the last four weeks in the opposition outfit’s attempt to kick out the electoral body’s officials.