Five legislators arrested over hate speech

Tuesday June 14 2016

ANGIRA ZADOCK
By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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Two Cord lawmakers were on Tuesday arrested in their Nairobi homes after a police stake-out that lasted several hours.

Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire were arrested in their homes in Runda and Karen respectively.

A third, Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, was arrested outside the Nation Centre where he had gone for an interview on NTV in the morning.

As other guests left the Nation Centre, Mr Mohammed stayed on after he was alerted that the officers were waiting to arrest him. He remained at the NTV offices until Siaya Senator James Orengo arrived and asked the police not to use force in taking Mr Mohammed.

The officers, led by the head of the Flying Squad, Mr Said Kiprotich, later took the MP to the headquarters of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

All the three leaders were questioned at DCI headquarters where they were later joined by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and his Kabete counterpart, Mr Ferdinand Waititu.

The two Jubilee MPs had presented themselves to the police on Monday night when they recorded statements following a directive from the Inspector-General of Police earlier in the day.

Detectives from the Flying Squad and the Special Crime Prevention Unit first arrested Mr Bosire at his Karen residence. Another group of undercover officers had camped on Kimathi Street as early as 7.30am, waiting for Mr Mohammed to finish his interview.

They had on Monday night gone to his home on Denis Pritt Road, but did not find him.

CRIME PREVENTION UNIT

Yet another team led by the Special Crime Prevention Unit head Noah Katumo had camped at Mr Muthama’s Runda residence from 11pm.

After 11 hours, Mr Muthama finally left the house accompanied by Mr Orengo, Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, Nyando MP Fred Outa, ODM’s head of communications Philip Etale and other leaders allied to Cord.

While at the DCI headquarters, the politicians were joined by Cord leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka and MPs Oburu Oginga (nominated) and Simba Arati (Dagoretti North). Only Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka were allowed to drive into the compound. Their bodyguards were ordered to remain outside with the officers at the gate, with officers saying they were under instructions not to allow them in for safety reasons.

A lorry full of General Service Unit (GSU) officers had arrived at the DCI headquarters at around 8am to beef up security as the leaders recorded statements and their supporters waited outside.

At around 1.45pm, both Mr Kuria and Mr Waititu arrived and were immediately ushered into a car that sped off to the Milimani courts where they were charged.

Addressing the press, Mr Musyoka said the arrests of Cord legislators was a cover-up to water down Mr Kuria’s sentiments on Mr Raila Odinga over the weekend.

“By arresting innocent leaders, the police are trying to incite Kenyans,” said Mr Musyoka.

Mr Odinga declined to talk to the media.

DISREGARD SUMMONS

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Joseph Boinnet, had on Monday ordered six MPs to appear before the DCI for questioning. Among those ordered to record statements were Kilifi Woman Rep Aisha Jumwa and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri.

On Tuesday, Mr Ngunjiri said he would disregard a summons to appear before the DCI on Thursday. Mr Ngunjiri had also been summoned by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission on claims of incitement and reckless utterances.

“I will not honour these summonses unless they are channelled through the Speaker of the National Assembly because I am not a village elder to be summoned by the likes of Mr Boinnet and Mr Kaparo,” said Mr Ngunjiri.

Addressing a press conference in Nakuru Town, the first time MP denied claims that he incited youths to storm a hotel where Mr Odinga was holding a meeting with his supporters at Kiamunyi area last Saturday.

“I went at the scene to stop some rival youths who were against the meeting and wanted to storm the hotel and this does not amount to inciting the youth against a certain community,” said Mr Ngunjiri.

Additional reporting by Francis Mureithi