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City pastor counting heavy losses after losing battle for Uhuru Park

Nairobi preacher Lucy wa Ngunjiri is coming to terms with the cost of losing a protracted battle with Opposition leaders over the use of Uhuru Park on Madaraka Day.

The preacher, who doubles up as a vernacular radio presenter at Kameme FM, had spent heavily to book and prepare the venue for a prayer rally organised by her Prayers Beyond Boundaries Ministries.

But the Nairobi City County government nullified her booking at the last minute despite receiving payment for the venue and issuing her with a receipt.

County Secretary Dr Robert Ayisi later explained that the church had paid the money before its request could be formally approved. He said Cord was the one granted official permission to use the venue for their Madaraka Day rally.

“She booked this venue in early May and everything was going on as planned until the Cord politicians came in with force to disrupt all this,” Kiharu MP Irungu Kang’ata had said on Thursday in support of the church.

Tanzanian gospel musician Rose Muhando was among a group of foreign and local based artistes who had confirmed attendance at the prayer rally.

Preacher Lucy wa Ngunjiri had also partly paid several service providers, including security personnel, ushers and decorators who were to set up and prepare the dias.

The National Security Advisory Committee at one point banned the planned Uhuru Park rally citing security threats posed by the double booking of the venue by Cord and the Prayer Beyond Boundaries Ministries.

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe explained that the decision to ban the rally was meant to ensure public safety in Nairobi and across the country.

High Court George Odunga however ruled in favour of Cord and ordered police to provide security for the rally.