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Police in Mombasa okay Saba Saba demos


Mombasa Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been given the green light by police to hold processions to mark the Saba Saba Day on Friday.

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The activists under the banner of Coast Civil Society Movement were upbeat after a meeting with the Mombasa central police officer commanding station saying they will hold a peaceful match from the Elephant Tusks on Moi Avenue and end up at the Treasury Square.

They said they had agreed with the police to take responsibility for any chaos, saying that they will have their own security guards in place.

If allowed, this will be the most serious demonstration in Coast since the Kenya Kwanza administration came to office. Unlike Nairobi and Kisumu, Mombasa has not embraced the Azimio-led rallies against Kenya Kwanza.

Mr Oginga Randiki, a Coast grassroots advisor to Azimio leader Raila Odinga said they will use the Saba Saba procession and gathering to protest against the high cost of living and the Public Finance Act that raised taxes to the already suffering Kenyans.

“This is the beginning of protests to force the government to ease the burden on Kenyans. We are not going to relent until this government listens to the voices of suffering Kenyans,” he said after emerging from the meeting with the OCS.

Concern Citizens executive director Mr Bradley Ouna said the hike of Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel from eight percent to 16 percent has started hurting Kenyans and worsened the cost of living.

“We want to use the demonstration to remind President William Ruto about his pre-election pledges that he would not burden the ordinary Kenyan more if elected. The Public Finance Act has a huge negative impact on the ordinary Kenyan and should be shelved,” he protested.

Another activist Mr Edwin Shamir said they had assured the police that they will take full responsibility for their gathering and that was why they were cleared to hold the demonstrations

”We are going to have our own security and take full responsibility. We are going to air our views peacefully and this is the assurance we have given the police,” said Shamir.

He said the OCS was friendly but firm that they should keep their word and ensure no businesses are disrupted.

Fast Action Movement secretary Ms Harriet Muganda called on residents particularly women to come out in large numbers to raise their voices over the high cost of living saying it was hurting them more.

“This is an opportunity for women to come out in their numbers and raise their voices. The high cost of living is hurting them, weighing them down more than any other lot,” she said.


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