MPs Babu, Kajwang detained for questioning after defying police


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NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – MPs Babu Owino, TJ Kajwang and politician Steve Mbogo were Thursday afternoon detained while they were heading to Kibera, in defiance of a police order barring the rally.

Roads to the populous slum, a stronghold of Raila Odinga had been sealed off by police following a directive by Nairobi County Commander Japheth Koome.

Kilimani Police Station where the leaders were detained say they will be released after questioning.

“We just want to question them, “ a senior police officer based at the station told Capital FM News.

It is not yet clear whether they would spend the night behind bars.

Politician Boni Khalwale, MP Esther Passaris, and MP Gladys Wanga, however, managed to sneak into the historic grounds where they addressed their supporters.

“We want you to turn out in large numbers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama urged the NASA supporters.

The rally is a build-up to Friday’s arrival of Opposition leader Odinga who’s returning from a trip overseas where they intend to lead a million people March to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Earlier in the day, the MPs caused drama at the JKIA, after they attempted to forcefully enter the precincts of the airport, for a press briefing.

While police insisted that the airport is a protected area, the defiant leaders led by Siaya Senator James Orengo and Homabay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, insisted, “we must assess the security of the airport ahead of the arrival of our leader Raila Odinga.”

JKIA is East Africa’s busiest and largest airport and the leaders have threatened to paralyze its activities on Friday if “a million people” welcoming Odinga will be barred from accessing the precincts of the airport.

“Let them deploy more officers to carry out a search on us,” former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said.

A brief altercation between airport security and the politicians ensued as both parties tried to school each other on the law.

Odinga has been calling for a fresh presidential poll, after he boycotted the October 26 fresh poll, citing unfavorable grounds.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won both August 8 and October 26 elections.

But Odinga successfully challenged his victory in August.

After leaving the airport, the leaders attempted to hold a rally in the city in defiance of the police.

Nairobi Police Commandant Japheth Koome on Wednesday said they would not permit the rally on account of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations.

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