28 May 2017

Kenya: Presidential Aspirant Arrested for Attempted Suicide

Photo: Courtesy/The Nation
Independent presidential aspirant Peter Solomon Gichira who is in police custody for attempting to commit suicide on May 27, 2017 at Anniversary Towers.

Police are holding in custody an Independent presidential aspirant Peter Solomon Gichira for allegedly attempting to commit suicide after he was disqualified by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Mr Gichira who successfully filed a case in court to nullify some rules set by the IEBC on independent aspirants, tried to jump off the 6th floor of Anniversary Towers on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking to Nation, central police OCPD Robinson Thuku said that Mr Gichira was at the IEBC offices to check on the progress of his nomination to vie for the Presidency.

Mr Thuku said that when he found out that IEBC rejected his bid, he broke the window of the 6th floor and attempted to jump out before two officers rescued him before arresting him.

"Mr Gichira is now under police custody as he had been arrested when he tried to jump out of 6th floor of Anniversary Towers when he was rejected by IEBC to run for president," said Mr Thuku.

Mr Thuku said he will be arraigned in court on Monday over charges of attempting to commit suicide and malicious damage to property.

However the police have refused to give him cash bail stating that they are protecting him incase he is released and goes ahead to kill himself.

His family members and his running mate Kelly Watima, have camped at the police station trying to get him out so he can present his papers.

Mr Watima claimed that Mr Gichara has been harassed since he announced his bid to vie for the Presidency.

He said it started when they submitted his symbol to IEBC who declined to receive the same insisting that it was supposed to be approved by the Registrar of Political Parties.

Mr Watima said that they also rejected him as the running mate forcing him to get clearance from the political parties' registrar which he claims was unnecessary.

His woes would not end there though. When he presented signatures a week ago, they were rejected by the IEBC stating that it was not in Excel format.

He further claims that IEBC has refused to acknowledge receipt of the signatures and as a consequence, he argued, acted in abuse of its powers and in an unfair administrative manner.

"Mr Gichira has had systematic harassment by the IEBC and now the police are locking him up so that he misses out on presenting his nomination papers... why are they scared... is it because he is a threat?" he posed.

Mr Gichira's campaign manager David Muriuki said that he had gone to IEBC to follow-up on the progress but after being kept for hours he declared he will present his nomination papers despite not having been cleared and being held in custody.

According to Mr Muriuki, the suicide claims against his boss are not true saying that it was a fabrication of the police.

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