MPs activists arrested over protests expected in court

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MPs, ward representative and activists who spent the weekend in police custody are expected to be arraigned on Monday followings their arrests over oppositions protests last week.

In Mombasa, chief magistrate Martha Mutuku is expected to rule whether Kilifi county assembly speaker Teddy Mwambire and Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga will be released on bond.

The two were among four individuals arrested on Wednesday during the anti-government demonstration in Mtwapa in Kilifi South and had already spent two nights in police cells when they appeared in court on Friday.

The other two individuals are Victor Katana (Chonga’s aide) and Patrick Chiro (Policy Analyst at the office of Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo).

Other Azimio leaders were arrested in Nairobi over the protests that have rocked several counties over the high cost of living.

Mathare MP Antony Oluoch, MCAs Peter Owera (Huruma) Peter Imwatok (Makongeni) and Alvin Palapala (Kitusuru) as well as Imwatok’s personal assistant Victor Obel also spent the weekend in police cells

Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga is also among those were were arrested.

This is despite protests by the families and lawyers they could not reach the victims.

The victims are supposed to have legal representations and family visitations.

The lawyers have complained police squads are holding the victims incommunicado. Police claimed Oluoch, was also found in illegal possession of a police wakie talkie.

He denies the claims and termed them fabrications. The individuals are slated to be arraigned on Monday. This will be past the 24 hours they are supposed to be produced in court.

They are also supposed to be granted cash bails. Some of those detained were being grilled at DCI headquarters on Friday night before they were taken away to separate police cells ahead of their arraignment.

Other politicians who have been arrested in the recent past include Redson Onyango, MCA Ngei Ward, and Wilfred Oluoch, MCA Mabatini, who were arrested on Wednesday in what their lawyers termed as ethnic profiling.

Others who have been arrested and already charged in court in connection with the demonstration and the ensuing violence include Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili, alias Babu Owino, and Calvin Okoth, alias Gaucho.

There has been increasing scrutiny on opposition politicians after the protests against high cost of living which were initially billed as peaceful, turned violent with loss of lives, business closures leading to losses and destruction of property worth millions, as well as interruption of learning after police intervened. Police have been criticised over their conduct in the protests.

They shot and killed more than 10 people and brutalised dozens others. More than 300 people were arrested in the chaos started after police intervened.

There have been calls by stakeholders from various sectors including religious, political leaders and even diplomats for cessation of the violence and a peaceful resolution of the issues raised by protestors.

On the other hand, government officials have reiterated their call for peace and affirmed their resolve to stem violence and restore order, and to protect lives and property, even as calm returns to areas previously rocked by unrest, which has turned deadly.