Activists in Lang'ata land grab case out on Sh20,000 bail

Activist Boaz Waruku (centre) celebrates after being released on a Sh20,000 police bail at Lang'ata Police Station in Nairobi on Tuesday. With him are activists John Wamagala (left) and George Momanyi. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Tobiko ordered that Mr Irungu Houghton, Mr Boaz Waruku and Mr Vincent Mkangula be returned to Lang'ata Police Station after they were taken to Kibera Law Courts.

  • Mr Ndubi said Mr Tobiko had asked prosecutors to prepare files for review of the three cases.

  • The lawyer said police planned to charge the activists with participating in an unlawful demo, incitement to violence, malicious damage to property and creating disturbance.

  • Mr Mkangula is likely to face a separate count of stealing during the demonstration that left five pupils and a police officer with injuries.

Three activists arrested during a demonstration against the alleged grabbing of Lang’ata Primary School's playground did not take pleas on Tuesday after the chief public prosecutor ordered police to release them on bail.

Mr Irungu Houghton, Mr Boaz Waruku and Mr Vincent Mkangula had been presented at the Kibera Law Courts, but Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered police to return them to Lang'ata Police Station.

“The DPP has ordered the police to release the activists on police bail... they are not going to be charged today,” lawyer Harun Ndubi told leaders and members of civil society who had arrived in the court early to show solidarity with their colleagues.

They were later released on Sh20,000 police bail each.

Mr Ndubi said Mr Tobiko had asked prosecutors to prepare files on the three cases for review.

PLANNED TO CHARGE

The lawyer said police planned to charge the activists with participating in an unlawful demonstration, incitement to violence, malicious damage to property and creating a disturbance.

Mr Mkangula is likely to face a separate count of stealing during the demonstration that left five pupils and a police officer with injuries.

“They are escalated and malicious charges. We leave it to the DPP to decide,” Mr Ndubi told the press outside the court.

He said the arrest of the three activists was intended to intimidate the civil society.

“I am disappointed that the policemen who lobbed tear gas at school children were not charged. Suspending the Lang’ata OCPD is not enough. We will require the officers to be punished,” he said.

National Civil Society Congress president Morris Odhiambo termed the police action "draconian and uncivilised".

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