9 November 2012

Kenya: Activist Omtatah Attacked on Nairobi Street

Nairobi — Controversial activist Okiya Omtatah is nursing serious injuries following a brutal attack in Nairobi on Thursday night.

Omtatah was attacked on Kenyatta Avenue after alighting from a matatu. "The group of young men just pounced me and hit me several times... others were armed with pangas and they hacked me," Omtatah told journalists from his hospital bed on Friday.

"I might be dead today. It was a miracle I survived," the activist, with a heavily bandaged head said.

He said he received first aid treatment at the Nairobi Outpatient Centre before he was transferred to the Mater Hospital where he was admitted.

The gang that attacked him is said to have fled when they sensed imminent retaliation from members of the public, mainly taxi drivers and night guards.

Omtatah claimed that as they assaulted him, he could hear some of them questioning why he is opposed to the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits imported by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) last week.

The activist recently moved to court to challenge the importation of the kits.

Police did not immediately link the attack to any specific individual or group.

"We don't know who attacked him, but an investigation has been launched," Moses Ombati, the Nairobi police chief said.

Police said they intend to record a statement from him once he recuperates.

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