Riot on Mashujaa Day at Your Own Risk, Mombasa Residents Warned

Protesters against the SGR haulage directive

Mombasa residents planning to hold demonstrations on Mashujaa Day will face the wrath of the police, County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo has warned.

There have been reports that disgruntled stakeholders in the transport sector intend to hold protests over unfair competition from the SGR.

“Wale wengine ambao wako na agenda zao, tunawaambia hiyo siku waachane nazo, waje kwa uwanja…kusherehekea na Wakenya wenzao (We are asking individuals with a different agenda for the day to drop it, and come to the grounds…to celebrate with fellow Kenyans),” he said on Monday.

“Mambo ya kutaka kwenda pembeni kufanya maandamano haitaruhusiwa ata kamwe (We will not allow other side-activities such as demonstrations),” he warned.

Truckers, traders and local leaders had earlier threatened to boycott the celebrations and instead march to State House, Mombasa, to seek audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta over the ongoing stalemate on the compulsory haulage of cargo via the SGR.

The government had issued the directive in March, but Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia announced the lifting of the order on October 3. However, stakeholders have complained that the lifting of the order has not yet been implemented.

An SGR haulage protestor is led away by police during past demonstrations

Several demonstrations have already been held in the Coastal city over the March directive, and the non-implementation of the October directive, which stakeholders claim has robbed them of their source of livelihood.

“All our businesses have died. We will, therefore, mobilise our people to boycott Mashujaa Day celebrations,” Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi said during past protests.

“We will not relent. We will use all available means to make sure that we are not deprived of our livelihoods. We will move all the way to the Supreme Court and use street protests to fight this battle,” Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki said in support of the calls to boycott Mashujaa Day Celebrations.

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