Thursday, April 18, 2024

Video-Drama at Airport as Uhuru travels to Hague

There was drama at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when three MPs including an assistant Minister were involved in a scuffle with the police.

Water assistant Minister Ferdinand Waititu, Makadara MP Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko, and Juja MP William Kabogo exchanged punches with 17 policemen who had denied them entry to the international departure lounge.

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The MPs and a few of their supporters attempted to forcibly gain entry into the departure lounge to bid farewell to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who was travelling to The Hague.

When they arrived at the airport at 10.02 PM they found Uhuru accompanied by several MPs had already entered the lounge.

A shouting match between the MPs’ supporters and the police ensued when they were informed that they had to use the staff gate to join their colleagues who had been given access a few minutes earlier.

"This are our MPs, you must allow them in. This is our country and you can not deny our leaders entry to the airport," Youths who had formed a ring around the MPs and the police shouted.

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Several attempts to shove aside the security officers in uniform under the command of an Inspector of Police and pave way for the MPs to gain entry failed in the ugly scene that paralysed business at the terminal.

"This is not a local airport where you can walk in and out at will. There are certain standards that we must maintain. Either you go through the staff gate or you stay out and no amount of intimidation will make us change the rules," said a police inspector as he called in reinforcement from his officers at the airport.

But the MPs aides insisted that the rules be changed to allow Sonko who had earlier in the day been discharged from hospital to enter the airport owing to his sickness.

Sonko who was walking with the support of two crutches punched a police inspector as he shouted at the top of his voice saying the policeman had kicked him.

The officer in retaliation clawed back at the MP as his cap came off as a result of the scuffle.

The youthful MP known for courting controversy hit back with a crutch before one officer punched and floored him leaving him sprawled at the entrance as his two colleagues dug in.

Kabogo exchanged blows with the police as he attempted to rescue his colleague who was writhing in pain as his aides probed him up while photojournalists recorded the event with their cameras.

Despite a reinforcement being called in, the MPs and their supporters did not cede ground as the pushing, shoving, punching, clawing and name calling reached a crescendo.

Waititu pushed and shoved as he attempted to convince the officers in vain to let go of his colleagues so they could join Uhuru and the other MPs.

However, the stand off ended when Waititu gave in and was ushered by an airport employee through the staff gate.

Both Sonko and Kabogo relented and drove off the airport in Waititu’s car.

As a result of the scuffle, passengers who were unable to access the international departure lounge watched the unfolding drama from a safe distance.

Uhuru had earlier bid farewell to his family members, relatives, friends and supporters in a brief but emotional ceremony at the airport with the police having cordoned off and closed the gates to the lounge.

The Finance Minister arrived at the airport at 9.40 PM and went ahead to hug the MPs one by one and several of his supporters for about 15 minutes.

"I am very grateful to all of you who are here today. I would like to urge you to pray for us. It is only prayer that we require from you. I am not going to make a speech. Thank you very much," Uhuru said in a record speech that lasted 20 seconds.

Uhuru travelled to The Hague with assistant minister Lewis Nguyai.

His supporters started pitching tent at the airport as early as 7 PM where members if several women groups dressed in traditional regalia and various uniform sang traditional songs.

Gender Minister Dr Naomi Shaban, MPs John Mututho, Maison Leshoomo, Peter Mwathi, Nemesyus Warugongo, Peter Gitau, Jamleck Kamau were among those who were at the airport to see off Uhuru.

A contingent of police officers with three sniff dogs had been stationed outside the departure lounge before Uhuru arrived.

Source- at Airport as Uhuru travels to Hague

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