PRESS STATEMENT ON DOZENS OF DEMONSTRATORS FROM KEROKA TOWN FACING TREASON CHARGES
September 16, 2017.
On Thursday September 14, 2017, hundreds of people went to the streets in Keroka Town located in Kitutu Masaba Constituency Nyamira County to demonstrate in solidarity with Chief Justice David Maraga, the independence of the Judiciary and Governors John Nyagarama and James Ongwae, who were the subject of rebuke by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his address on Wednesday.
After the demonstrations, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI) rounded up dozens of people and detained them at the Keroka Police Station.
The cops asked for bribes from many them to buy their freedom.
On the morning of Friday September 15,2017, the police under heavy security presented an unspecified number of them to the Keroka Magistrates Court and charged them with Treason, one of the most serious crimes punishable by death.
What the police are accusing the demonstrators who include a cobbler, barberman, boda boda operator and a street urchin, is acting with the intent to overthrow a government, harm or kill the President and engaging in war against the Republic.
Because of the charges they are accused of, the Magistrate advised the police that the demonstrators should be charged at an High Court.
The Magistrate refused a request by the Police to hold the demonstrators for 14 days to conclude investigations. They were told to present them to the High Court on Monday September 18, 2017.
On the same day, the police continued to carry more arrests of individuals involved in the demonstrations.
On Friday afternoon, we sought the intervention of the Nyamira County Commander Titus Karuri who referred us to the Attorney General.
We wish to bring the following to your attention:
1. There is serious division in the arrest of the individuals between junior officers and their seniors. Interestingly, all the senior security chiefs in Masaba Sub County and in Nyamira County either come from the President’s or Deputy President’s tribe and they are known to be strong supporters of the Jubilee government.
2. A Cabinet Secretary and senior Jubilee officials from Gusii region ordered for their arrest “so as to team the NASA supporters a lesson,” allegedly for undermining the President and the local Jubilee leadership.
3. The families of the individuals arrested have been denied access to them. The police have refused to let them speak to their loved ones.
4. We still don’t know how many have been detained. The police have declined to share those details.
5. We have been informed that those arrested were moved in the cover of darkness to various police stations among them Keroka, Kericho, Bomet and Kilgoris.
1.Ask the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett to provide details of those arrested and police stations where they are being detained.
2. Ask the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett to allow families and legal counsel access to the detained individuals.
3. Ask the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett to evaluate and transfer senior security chiefs in Nyamira County who belong to the same tribe to give the County a nationalistic force.
4. Ask for the immediate released of the innocent and harmless demonstrators.
For the Jubilee aspirants and officials who are actively involved in the arrest of the NASA demonstrators, we will deal with you with the best way we know- through the ballot box!
Secretary General, NYAMIRA NASA CAMPAIGN SECRETARIAT