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IG Koome responds after police teargas Raila birthday party

IG Koome orders action against police who teargassed the Raila birthday party at Nairobi CBD.

“Strong administrative action” will be taken against police officers who used tear gas on Raila Odinga’s supporters at the opposition leader’s birthday festivities in Nairobi’s city center, according to an order issued by Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome on Sunday.

The National Police Service (NPS) declared the officers’ actions to be illegal in a statement that was made public on Sunday evening after the incident.

“The National Police Service takes cognizance of the unwarranted violent dispersion of members of the public who were holding a peaceful celebration in Nairobi today 7/7/2024. The Inspector General, IG Japhet Koome has directed for stern administrative action to be taken against the Officers who engaged in the unlawful action,” it read.

“The National Police Service reiterates its commitment to remain politically neutral in execution of its mandate of protecting life and property.”

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The Azimio allied leaders said police lobbed tear gas to disrupt the event, making them change the venue for a cake-cutting ceremony they had organized to celebrate the former prime minister who turned 79 on Sunday.

Raila Odinga was not present during the incident, with Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka saying he was away in Malindi, Kilifi County.

The Azimio leaders were speaking to the media at Serena Hotel, which they said is where they had moved the cake-cutting ceremony.

“No one can prevent people from cutting a cake. The tear gas is a fear the government has about Odinga,” Musyoka added.

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