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Sonko arrest: Ndile wants police officer charged with assault

Sunday December 8 2019

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (centre), who has been arrested for alleged economic crimes arrives with handcuffs at the Wilson airport in Nairobi, on December 6 ,2019. PHOTO | AFP 

STEPHEN MUTHINI
By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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Former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile has asked the Inspector General of Police to order the arrest of a police officer seen in a video clip assaulting Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during his arrest in Voi on Friday.

Mr Ndile faulted the manner in which Governor Sonko was arrested. He termed the arrest as demeaning to Mr Sonko’s dignity as a leader.

Speaking in Machakos on Sunday, Mr Ndile said the use of force against the governor was not necessary since Mr Sonko had been cooperating with investigators.

DANGEROUS CRIMINAL

Mr Ndile said the arrest by over twenty police officers and the subsequent air lifting of the governor in a police helicopter to Nairobi implied that the police were dealing with a dangerous criminal.  

“As leaders, we are disturbed by the manner in which Governor Sonko was arrested and airlifted in a police chopper only to be taken to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices. This is harassment,” said Mr Ndile.

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Former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile (centre)
Former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile (centre) flanked by Eng. Jasper Mulinge (right) and local politician John Mutuku during a press briefing in Machakos on December 6, 2019. They condemned the arrest of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO | STEPHEN MUTHINI | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

He claimed the arrest was suspicious coming at a time when President Uhuru Kenyatta was launching the construction of residential houses in Athi River.

He said Mr Sonko had been agitating for the land on which the housing project was being rolled out to revert to the locals since the East African Portland Cement Company had finished mining on it.

He claimed that Mr Sonko could have been targeted for standing with the landless common mwananchi.

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Mr Ndile linked the governor's troubles to his failure to fully support the Building Bridges Initiative report.  He warned that if the report was being forced on Kenyans, it was bound to fail.

Local politicians John Mutuku and Engineer Jasper Mulinge also condemned the arrest saying the law of natural justice provided that suspects who cooperate with law enforcement agencies should not be harassed.

Mr Mutuku said Mr Sonko should not be harassed by the State.   

"It appears there is hidden vendetta against Mr Sonko. If he had been summoned before the EACC or the court he would have attended,” said Mr Mutuku.

Mr Sonko has been locked up awaiting to be charged in court.