Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho says his continued harassment by the police was giving him and the opposition more popularity and impetus to win more votes.
He accused police of being behind the disruption of ODM rallies at Kinango and at Lunga Lunga in Kwale County on Thursday.
He said the National Super Alliance (Nasa) leadership was for peace and abhorred violence which the government seemed to perpetuate through the use of armed police officers.
He made the remarks at Tononoka Grounds where Nasa will hold a rally on Sunday. At the same time, Mr Joho welcomed the Jubilee parallel rally to be held at the Mvita grounds.
“We welcome the Jubilee rally at Mvita grounds. That is a true show of democracy. Let them hold their rally and we hold ours. There is no problem,” he said.
Mr Joho said they had notified the police about the Tononoka rally who had subsequently given a go ahead.
“The constitution says Kenyans are free to hold a rally and picketing. There is nothing like getting a permit. You only notify the police which we have done and they replied that permission is granted,” he said and displayed the notification to the media.
The Governor who has continuously found himself on the wrong side of the authority said his fellow governors – John Mruttu of Taita Taveta and Amason Kingi of Kilifi – were peaceful people who have always tried to calm down possibly violent situations.
“The governors were the ones who calmed down the situation at Mpeketoni last week when we were pelted with stones and mangoes,” he said.
He said that the opposition supporters were capable of fighting back any provocation but had chosen not to because they value peace.
“Here are people capable of defending themselves but we chose to remain peaceful at the provocation in Mpeketoni. This means we want peace,” he said.
On the Tononoka rally, Mr Joho said the police are supposed to provide security for the attendants who will travel from all the six coast counties but that if they fail to do so, the people themselves will protect one another.
“By law, they are supposed to provide security after they gave us the green light to hold the rally. But if they find this very difficult, they can leave it because the people themselves can do that. We will ask our youth and supporters to be peaceful and there will be no problem,” he said.
A communications official of Jubilee, Abdulswamad Ali, said the Mvita ground rally will be attended by all the senior party leaders from the six counties.