A multi-layer security cordon was laid out within and outside the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani during yesterday’s inauguration ceremony of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.
Special elite police teams and the military took full charge of security inside the stadium while the other police formations reinforced the outer cordon.
Tens of thousands thronged the venue while a significant number were barred from the fully packed stadium in what police sources linked to last minute cancellation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned attendance.
According to Israeli’s security modus operandi, the Prime Minister cannot be exposed to open crowded areas and often prefer closed spaces where his detail often assumes takeover of the of the security arrangements.
However, Netanyahu gave a keynote address during yesterday’s luncheon at State House. He arrived into the country on Tuesday evening for an official state visit.
This is his second visit in Kenya and the third into the African continent in a span of one and a half years.
In Kasarani, police officers had difficult time to control the surging crowd who tried to force their way into the facility to catch a glimpse of the ceremony.
Majority of them drawn from all parts of the country camped outside the main public entrance Gate 12 as early as 3am.
“We traveled overnight from Koibatek and arrived here 2am in the morning. We are yet to gain access. We are told the facility is full. We voted for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy Ruto twice and we had to come and witness the work of the Lord in their inauguration ceremony.” Nancy Chepkurui said flanked by a team of over 20 women.
Despite the pomp and colour that marked the event, things turned chaotic after the supporters donning in attires bearing Jubilee colours tried to push their way past the highly secured gates prompting a stampede that left scores injured.
Police were forced to lobe teargas canisters to disperse the crowd.
Security officers said by 8am, the indoor arena was full to capacity and no more people could be accommodate inside.
“Although I haven’t managed to get in, I feel I have fulfilled my obligation as a voter to come here and witness that the leaders I chose officially assume office.” Kamau Kimani said as he peeped through the gates.
Uniformed and plain clothed officers were strategically placed right from Roysambu Round About all through to the stadium.
Security around the facility was maintained at an all-time high and those who managed to get entry were subjected to thorough screening.