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Starehe MP Charles Njagua arrested over incitement

Monday June 29 2020
Jaguar

Starehe MP Charles 'Jaguar' Njagua in the docks at the Milimani Law Courts on June 28, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MARY WAMBUI

Starehe MP Charles 'Jaguar' Njagua was arrested on Monday on allegations of incitement.

The legislator is accused of inciting traders to forcefully occupy the stalls at the newly constructed Mwariro Market in Kariokor, Nairobi Region Police Commander Philip Ndolo said.

Commander Ndolo said the MP was taken to Nairobi Area police headquarters for questioning.

“MANY MISTAKES”

The national government built the two-storey market using funds from the World Bank.

The police boss claimed that last Friday, Mr Njagua mobilised 200 people at the market to cause chaos and demand ownership of the stalls.

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“What he did was wrong because the market was built by the national government and not a single cent from the Starehe CDF kitty was spent. He cannot purport to have the right to share out the stalls. Additionally, it was wrong for him to gather a crowd during this time of Covid-19. His mistakes are many,” he explained.

The government’s plan is to allocate the stalls to the most deserving persons, starting with those who paved way for the market’s construction.

"Those with interest have been asked to apply through the concerned ministry. Due process shall be followed,” Mr Ndolo said.

After his arrest, the MP said on Twitter that the stall allocation must be fair.

“I'll keep fighting for my constituents. Being a leader is tough but my resolve remains unshaken,” he wrote.

PAST CASE

In July 2019, MP Njagua was charged with issuing remarks aimed at inciting Kenyans against foreign nationals living in the country.

The court heard that he committed the offence on June 24 that year at Nyamakima within Nairobi County and was arrested two days later.

He denied the charge and was released on Sh500,000 cash bail.

GIKOMBA FIRE

Last week, Mr Njagua insinuated that the government could have been behind a recent huge fire at Gikomba Market, that left many without sources of a living.

At that time, he said on Twitter, “NYS recruits are in Gikomba right now. They're demolishing stalls that traders reconstructed after a mysterious fire razed them ... GSU officers are also there protecting the recruits. Is this exercise a sign that the government was involved in the recent fire?”

He added, “I ask for an immediate halt to this exercise. NYS recruits should go home. Any security officer present in Gikomba should be there to guard the reconstructed stalls and other properties owned by traders. The government exists to protect property. It should not oversee its destruction.”

Regarding these remarks, Commander Ndolo said the structures that were torn down were the ones that had been weakened by the fire and that the move was precautionary.

“Some of those houses were built in the 1960s. So weak are they that you cannot purport to want to repair them to make them habitable unless you are repairing them to establish a museum,” he said.

“Investigations are ongoing. We have a contact that people should call to give us information.”

The government has since honoured its promise for a Sh10,000 compensation for each person affected by the fire.

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