Stop intimidating Opposition, NASA leaders warn Matiang

National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders have cautioned Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to stop intimidating them. Led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, the politicians called on their supporters who attended the inauguration of Raila Odinga as the “people’s president” to surrender to officers at Central Police Station tomorrow, and write a statement explaining why they attended the January 30 event.

The Opposition leaders said the move was meant to show solidarity with their colleagues who were being targeted by the police in a crackdown that had seen MPs Tom Kajwang’ (Ruaraka) and George Aladwa (Makadara), and self-styled outlawed National Resistance Movement (NRM) General Miguna Miguna arrested.

CONTEMPT SUIT Although the court granted orders for Miguna to be released last Friday, he is still being held at Lari Police Station. They called for Miguna’s release and indicated they might file contempt of court suit against the Government today. Miguna was arrested on Friday after the police broke into his home in Runda. The MPs complained that NASA leaders were being targeted and persecuted unfairly and without provocation. During a rally at Baba Dogo in Ruaraka constituency, which Raila Odinga was expected to attend but failed to turn up, the lawmakers hit out the Government over its failure to release Miguna. They were equally agitated by the Government’s failure to switch on three major private TV stations in the country despite court orders. The stations were shutdown last week for airing the Raila ‘swearing-in’ ceremony. It is not clear why Raila and three other NASA co-principals skipped the Ruaraka rally although there were reports that he (Raila) was meeting some foreign envoys.

Miguna suffers asthma attack Those who spoke at the public gathering said the police were being used to intimidate them through the ongoing crackdown on those who ‘actively’ participated in the January 30 event. Dagoretti North Simba Arati wondered why the court orders to release Miguna and switch on TV stations had been ignored, saying that the Jubilee administration should not expect others to obey the court orders. Aladwa also called on the Interior CS to respect other leaders irrespective of their political affiliation. “We are leaders of this country. People woke up very early and elected us into office. You must respect and treat us with respect. This country belongs to all of us. We will resist any attempt to arrest and intimidate us,” said Aladwa. Embakasi East MP Babu Owino asked Raila to appoint him the Interior Cabinet secretary in his yet-to-be-formed ‘Cabinet’. POLICE HARASSMENT Owino said police harassment had become too much.

Is state’s withdrawal of passports intimidation of opposition leaders? “All I am requesting Raila is to appoint me the Interior CS. If appointed, I will first arrest Matiang’i. I have told the police to come and create a cell in my house so that whenever they want to arrest me, they should come and lock me up in the cell at my place,” said Owino. Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris told the police that NASA leaders were not criminals and had never engaged in any extra-judicial killings. “The police should know that it is not a crime to be in NASA. We are leaders of the people of Kenya and not criminals who you arrest when you feel like. I have buried so many people killed by the police. We are tired,” said Passaris. Others in attendance were Senator Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), MPs Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), John Mbadi (Suba South), James Nyikal (Seme), Martin Owino (Ndhiwa) and nominated MP Prof Jacqueline Oduol. Miguna is set to be charged in court today. Kajwang and Aladwa are out on bond.

Source Standard Digital

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