Inside Politics

Leaders demand release of arrested colleagues

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 06:20 | By
Leaders demand release of arrested colleagues. PHOTO/Courtesy

Azimio la Umoja leaders yesterday condemned police brutality in the demonstrations and called for the immediate release of opposition MPs who were arrested during the protests.

The leaders accused police of causing mayhem and using force while dealing with the demonstrators.

Led by Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, they charged that they will intensify the protests to at least two times a week until their issues are addressed.

“We want to condemn the interference of the police in what is a constitutional right. Our protest was peaceful, it was scheduled to be peaceful, but we have seen police interference in the protest. Some of the MPs have been assaulted, we have been teargased and some of our members have been arrested,” said Sifuna.

He went on: “As we speak now, Senate Leader of Minority Stewart Madzayo and National Assembly Leader of Minority Opiyo Wandayi are in police custody and have committed no crime. They tried to strangle me in the streets.”

Sifuna further condemned use of brutal force by the police officers in dealing with the peaceful demonstrators.

“We said we do not want the police to interfere with us, if they would have allowed us to conduct our demonstration in the manner in which we had anticipated, by now we would have gotten to State House and we would have finished our business and the country would have returned to normalcy.”

National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed (Suna East) charged in major parts of the country, there is no meaningful activity which has been carried on because of demonstrations, a situation he said shows that there is a problem in the country.

“We want our leaders who have been arrested to be released unconditionally. We are giving the government two hours to release those leaders failure to which things will be worse,” warned Junet.

Junet said that the country belongs to all Kenyans, adding that the police should be reminded that they are supposed to serve all Kenyans and not only few Kenyans.

He said that demonstrations are being conducted in several parts of the world including France, Britain, South Africa, Nigeria and Tunisia, adding that the most violent is Kenya which he said was being perpetuated by the police.

“This culture must come to an end. One culture that must come to an end in this 2023, is police brutality in Kenya. This one must end so that if we will have any demonstrations in 2027, 2032 or 2055, we will have peaceful demonstrations. Article 37 of the constitution has allowed Kenyans to picket and to demonstrate. Police are supposed to provide security,” said Junet.

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino claimed that three people had lost their lives to police brutality one in Jacaranda and two in Kibra.

“I condemn the killing of our supporters. Somebody has been shot at Jacaranda in Embakasi East constituency and two people have been killed in Kibra constituency. Ruto talked about not misusing the police, but what are we seeing?” posed Owino.

However, People Daily could not independently verify the authenticity of the claims that three people had been killed in the demonstrations.

National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui (Kathiani) also charged that from the reports they have received some demonstrators may have lost their lives.

“Out of the brutality of the police, it is possible that we may have lost lives. We have been categorical that we want peaceful demonstrations. It is always the police that come with violence. It is unfortunate and this has to be condemned,” said Mbui.

He said that there is need to have dialogue so that the country can move peacefully and economically, adding that Azimio needs to be heard.

Kitui Senator Enock Wambua said that Azimio had planned for a peaceful demonstration, explaining that when they went to the streets, none was armed.

“The police have taken it up among themselves to disrupt peaceful demonstrations. This week or next week, we shall be at it again until they hear what we are saying,” said Wambua.

Earlier in the day, Madzayo, Wandayi, Ken Chonga (Kilifi South) and Amina Mnyazi (Malindi) were arrested, taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and later taken to Tigoni police station.

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