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Starehe MP Jaguar arrested over ‘incitement’

By Alvin Mwangi
Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
Plain clothes police officers arrest a protester when supporters of Starehe MP Charles Kanyi  Njagua demonstrated following his arrest. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

Starehe MP Charles Njagua, alias Jaguar, was yesterday arrested for allegedly inciting youths to forcibly occupy the recently rehabilitated Mwariro market.

The legislator was booked at Nairobi Area Police Station. 

Speaking to People Daily on phone, the first-time MP confirmed being held at the Nairobi Area Police Station in connection to claims he incited hawkers on the allocation of the refurbished stalls in the market.

“I will keep fighting for my constituents. Being a leader is tough but my resolve remains unshaken. Allocations at Mwariro Market have to be fair,” he said.

This is not the first time the MP is being arrested. In June last year, the legislator was also arrested after he made sensational claims, calling for the kicking out of non-Kenyans from city markets.

Viral clip

The remarks sparked unease in Tanzania and immediately the Government  apologised from what it described as Jaguar’s  reckless and ‘unneighbourly’ statements.

Tanzania then summoned Kenyan High Commissioner to Dares Salaam, Dan Kazungu to clarify on what has been termed as the legislator’s ‘xenophobic’ utterances.

 In a clip that went viral, the MP is heard asking foreigners engaged in business in his constituency to close their businesses and vacate the country, failure to which they will be forcefully evicted.

His arrest came a few moments after Nairobi Regional Commissioner Wilson Njega warned politicians that they risk being  prosecuted should they continue to incite the public to illegally occupy government markets in the city. 

The regional administrator who spoke at a press conference in Nairobi clarified that traders who previously occupied the markets will be given first priority while the remaining stalls will be distributed through open balloting that will be overseen by Nairobi County Commissioner Flora Mworoa and officials from the State Department of Housing and Infrastructure.

 “There have been some people going around collecting money purporting to allocate traders market stalls.

 On Friday last week, we had a confrontation between some members of the public and police at Mwariro Market. I am sending a clear message that we will not tolerate this at all.

We will come for you and you will be prosecuted,” admonished  the regional administrator at a press conference in Nairobi in his office.

Besides Mwariro, Njega said other markets have been fully rehabilitated and are ready for occupancy including Westlands, Karindini as well as Gikomba, which was recently gutted down by unknown arsonists.

“ We will prioritise all those who occupied these markets before. They will get the stalls first and we will not relent on that,” he maintained.

Running water

Mwariro was rehabilitated to a tune of Sh389.5 million. It has new 359 stalls, 318 will be allocated to the original members with the remaining 41 being left to be balloted.

Karandini market was rehabilitated to a tune of Sh 294 million and has 208 stalls, Westlands Market on the other hand cost  Sh214 million and Gikomba, which is almost complete, was done refurbished to a tune of She493.8 million.

The markets will have clean running water and soap as measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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