Released protesters vow to fight on till justice is done
Police on Saturday released 22 civil society activists, including two elderly women, who were arrested on Christmas eve for alleged illegal assembly. The group led by Okiya Okoiti Omtatah was arrested along Aga Khan Walk as they prepared to march to the Prime Minister’s office at the Treasury and later to the Education ministry headquarters at Jogoo House to protest the theft of money at the ministry.
Saturday, 26 December 2009, by Kibiwott Koross, the Nation.
The grannies, Angelina Nabutele, 65, and Rose Itieba, 63, spent Christmas at the Central police station looked weak. The group’s lawyer Wanyiri Kihoro said they had not eaten while in the police cells. The two women reportedly collapsed in the cells on Friday night and were taken to Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment at around 2 a.m. “It is bad there,” said Mrs Nabutele, who lives in Kibera. “I will not go there again.”
The activists from the Justice, Peace and Development lobby, were to assemble at the Freedom Corner in Uhuru Park, but plans changed when police cordoned off the area. They had barely started the procession to push for the resignation or sacking of Education minister Sam Ongeri and permanent secretary Karega Mutahi over missing education cash when police pounced on them.
Quest for justice
A brief exchange of words ensued between the protesters and the police before the 22 were bundled into a police lorry and driven to Central police station. After their release on Saturday, Mr Omtatah said they would not relent in their quest for justice. “We will fight till the education money is returned. We will rest when the two professors resign,” he said.
Kibiwott Koross, the Nation.
First published tonight on the Kenyan newspaper the Nation's website, this article has been edited for publication here by HRHF / Niels Jacob Harbitz.