Makadara lawmaker George Aladwa ‘set free’ in maandamano case
Makadara lawmaker George Aladwa is a free man after police were asked to stop harassing him on political grounds.
Lady Justice Diana Kavedza, sitting at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, had ordered police not to arrest and prosecute the outspoken politician supposedly for his role in the anti-government protests held in the country on July 2023.
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The protests called by the opposition allied Azimio coalition leader Raila Odinga, were dubbed maandamano.
On September 26, 2023, the court was told the Police had heeded the order to stop harassing the politician.
The judge further ruled prohibiting the MP’s arrest and prosecution will remain in force.
Azimio politicians led by Raila Odinga called for protestations against President William Ruto’s administration in a move they said was aimed at putting pressure on the government to lower the cost of living.
Earlier, Justice Kavedza released Aladwa on an anticipatory bond of Sh100,000 pending completion of investigations against him and others.
When the case came up for hearing on September 26, 2023, the court heard that the Police had stopped pursuing Aladwa and other members of the Nairobi County Assembly (MCAs).
“I urge this court to allow the prohibition orders against Aladwa to remain in force since police did not arrest them nor prefer any charges. Police have stopped pursuing him and they have not filed any response to the MP’s application claiming harassment and breaches of their constitutional rights by the law enforcers,” city lawyers Brian Khaemba and Dancan Okatch told Justice Kavedza.
Khaemba said following the failure of the Police to file responses, the case should be marked as settled.
While blocking Aladwa’s arrest, Justice Kavedza said the Constitution allows the High Court ‘to intervene whenever a right or a fundamental freedom of a citizen in the Bill of Rights is threatened’.
The judge said Aladwa had gone into hiding after getting information that ‘police are hotly pursuing him with an intention to arbitrarily arrest him and two others on trumped-up charges’.
Aladwa has since resurfaced.
Lawyers Tom Kwanga, Khaemba, Duncan Okatchi, Jackson Awele, Peter Kaluma, Danstan Omari, and Eric Theuri, who doubles up as president of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) urged the judge to intervene and protect the rights of Aladwa and MCAs Peter Imwatok (Makongeni) and Moses Ogeto Nyangaresi (Kilimani) who were facing imminent arrest and detention at the time.
Kwanga told the judge the three politicians namely Aladwa, Imwatok, and Ogeto) were being pursued over their rights to exercise their constitutional rights to assemble, picket, and demonstrate their freedom of expression.
In her brief ruling, Justice Kavedza said the application to admit the three on an anticipatory bond is ‘merited’.
Aladwa, Imwatok, and Ogeto had named the Inspector General of Police, Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), and Attorney General as respondents in the case.
The judge said the applicants had proven that their rights were at stake and proceeded to grant Conservatory Order restraining the respondents from ‘arresting, detaining, harassing and or otherwise interfering with the liberty of the three politicians while exercising their constitutional rights to assemble, picket, demonstrate and freedom of expression’.
Justice Kavedza ordered each of the three to deposit a cash bail of Sh100,000 until September 26, 2023, when the case will be mentioned for further directions.