19 May 2019

Kenya: Senator Malala's Supporters Teargased as DPP Orders Leaders Freed

Kisumu — Police in Kisumu were forced to lob teargas and fire in the air to disperse supporters of Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala who were demanding his release Sunday night.

Word had gone round that Malala was to be freed from the Kisumu Central Police Station where he has been held since Friday following his arrest.

His supporters who were singing praise songs were eventually dispersed after teargas was lobbed at them.

Malala was being held alongside former Sports CS Richard Echesa and Matungu MP Justus Murunga among other suspects following a wave of killings in Kakamega County.

Later Sunday night, DPP Noordin Haji issued a statement ordering the release of the three leaders including MCA Libinus Oduor.

"After discussions with the Inspector General of Police, it is clear that the investigations are at an advanced stage but incomplete," he said in a statement.

He asked for a thorough probe into the killings in Matungu and the relevant files forwarded to him for further directions

Despite directing their release, DPP Haji ordered them to report to the police on Monday, May 20 at 10am "without fail."

"Meanwhile, they are advised to keep peace and cooperate with law enforcement agencies."

The arrests last week came a day after Interior CS Fred Matiangi led a visit to the troubled area.

"There'll be no retreat and no surrender until peace, law and order are restored in Matungu. No one has the leeway to terrorize or intimidate residents. This must stop. Peace is not negotiable," Matiangi said during the visit.

"Leaders should conduct themselves with respect and respect the lives of other people."

The CS said the government would utilize all resources at its disposal to find a permanent solution following the spate of killings of more than 20 people in less than four months, especially in Matungu and Khwisero sub-counties.

He sent a stern warning to the perpetrators saying that not one of them will escape justice.

Matiangi said members of the gang could voluntarily surrender before they were smoked out by police from their hideouts.

The CS further condemned leaders who hire goons to intimidate and use violence on residents to the point of shedding blood in order to appear powerful.


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