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Calls for Raila Odinga’s arrest divides opinion

By SAMWEL OWINO February 5th, 2018 2 min read

Opinion is divided on whether arresting National Super Alliance boss Raila Odinga would be the best way of dealing with an insurgent opposition.

While the government has gone for Mr Odinga’s allies, there is concern that such a decision may lead to unprecedented chaos.

Some Jubilee leaders say it is just a matter of time before Mr Odinga is arrested “for inciting people against the government of the day”.

Igembe North MP Maoka Maore said reaction would not matter “since what happened at Uhuru Park is illegal and no country can tolerate it”.

“It is wrong to excite supporters to an illegality. Losers are behaving like winners and making winners appear to be in office illegally,” Mr Maore said.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said the government was not afraid of arresting the opposition chief.


“Mr Odinga has not committed any crime. If he had violated the law, he would have been arrested,” Mr Kang’ata said.

“Mr Odinga did not take oath as the president of the republic. There are many presidents in this country such as university student leaders. People are being arrested because they are misleading him and making inciting utterances.”

Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny however urged the President to be careful about the kind of legacy he wants to leave.

“Arresting Mr Odinga will lead to chaos. Let us remember he has six million supporters across Kenya,” Mr Kutuny said.

“It is unfortunate that the government is muzzling the same media we in Jubilee used to champion our ICC agenda in 2013.”

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior said the ongoing arrests showed the government was afraid of Mr Odinga.


“Anyone thinking of arresting Raila is contemplating disaster. The arrest of the likes of Miguna Miguna, Tom Kajwang, George Aladwa and others shows the government develops cold feet when it comes to Mr Odinga,” Mr Mutula said, adding that the government just wanted to be seen to be doing something.

The Makueni senator urged Nasa principals to call an urgent meeting and chart the way forward.

Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama told the police not to dare arrest Mr Odinga.

“If the government does not obey court orders, which Kenyan will?” Mr Muthama asked.

Mr Muthama said he was outside the country when Mr Odinga was sworn in on Tuesday, adding that he was committed to the opposition cause.

According to Kathiani MP Robert Mbui, it is just a matter of time before the former prime minister is arrested.

“The government will keep arresting leaders to gauge the reaction of Kenyans. If nothing happens, it will go for people like Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Senator James Orengo and finally Mr Odinga,” Mr Mbui said, adding that Mr Odinga committed no crime.