Muslims threaten to hold peaceful demo over curfew
Muslim leaders in Tana River County have given the government a 48 hour ultimatum to lift a recent dusk to dawn curfew or face mass action from their followers.
Officials of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) and the Council of Imams and Preachers (CIPK) are threatening to mobilise their faithful to stage street demonstrations against the curfew imposed by Acting Internal Security Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i, claiming it violated their constitutional rights to freedom of worship.
Addressing a press conference at the Laza Leisure Lodge in Hola Town Thursday, the leaders said Muslim faithful, observing their religious rites, were being harassed and beaten up by security agents enforcing the curfew.
Tana River County Supkem Chairman, Sheikh Musa Dido, said they were baffled that the curfew was imposed in the county yet there had not been any terrorism incident in the recent past.
“We have adequate peace in this county, thanks to efforts by the national and county governments,” he said adding, “We wonder why the CS imposed a curfew in a county that is not even among the 21 counties listed as hot spots during the electioneering period.”
He claimed the curfew was not effective in Lamu and Mpeketoni towns despite the fact that the county had experienced a spate of terrorist attacks and wondered why Hola and Garsen towns had been targeted.
Sheikh Dido urged politicians to preach peace during and after the campaigns and appealed to residents to ensure they also remained peaceful.
Sheikh Abdalla Ali Barisa alias Sheikh Pama said Muslims going for early morning and late evening prayers were being beaten up before being bundled up in police trucks to be charged.
Sheikh Adris Bakero Boru, a Supkem official, said despite meeting high ranking government officials, including Regional Commission, Nelson Marwa, and their request has not been taken into consideration.
By Emmanuel Masha