Four opposition politicians appeared in courts in Kisumu and Mombasa where they faced charges touching on Thursday’s repeat presidential election.
In Kisumu, Senator Fred Outa and former Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga were forced to seek freedom the legal way, after a hide-and-seek game with the police for days.
The two emerged from hiding after the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko gave an order that they should be charged in a Kericho court with attacking Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission officials and damaging the commission’s property.
But they chose to appear in Kisumu where Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng’ar released them on a personal bond of Sh500,000 each with conditions that they appear before the police on Tuesday.
Moments after they were released, Mr Outa told the Nation they chose to hide because Nyanza Regional Coordinator Wilson Njenga had issued a “political directive” against them.
“We decided to present ourselves before the court this time. We were just here in Kisumu, and were watching from a distance how things were unfolding,” Mr Outa said.
Last Tuesday, a mob attacked officials preparing for an IEBC training workshop in Kisumu County.
The IEBC officials were later rescued by police.
In court, Mr Outa and Ms Odinga, the sister of Nasa leader Raila Odinga, faced five charges, among them entering an electoral centre without authority, obstructing an election officer from executing lawful duties and causing malicious damage to property.
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, his Deputy Mathews Owili and Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda were part of the large crowd that filled the court in solidarity with the accused.
Also present was Kondele Ward Representative Joachim Oketch who had faced the same charges in Kericho Law Courts.
And in Mombasa, Airport Ward MCA Ibrahim Oyugi accused of calling President Kenyatta “caretaker President” was charged with dissemination of information meant to prevent the presidential election scheduled for Thursday.
Mr Oyugi, who appeared before Mombasa senior principal magistrate Francis Kyambia, also faced another charge of subversive activity.
The accused, who was represented by Senator Mohamed Faki, was released on a Sh200,000 bond with a surety of similar amount or a Sh100,000 cash bail.
According to the prosecution, the accused, through a brief to the members of the press said: “In Mombasa, we have decided we are not going to have elections on October 26 2017, never. We are going to do everything possible to stop that election.”
The court heard that the MCA uttered the words with intent to prevent the repeat presidential election.
He was also accused of uttering words: “Uhuru should be very careful. I am telling you that, he is not even the president of Kenya. He is a caretaker president by now.”
The words were calculated to elicit disaffection against the presidency in execution of its duties, the court heard.
The offences are alleged to have been committed on October 19, within Mombasa County.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, his deputy William Kingi and Likoni MP Mishi Mboko were among leaders who turned up in court in solidarity with the MCA.
The case will be mentioned on November 7 for pre-trial directions.