Journalist assaulted as anti-riot police face Babu Owino supporters
Tension flared up at the Milimani Law Court for the second consecutive day during the arraignment of Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and other demonstrators who were arrested.
The commotion occurred after the ruling and before his lawyers and family completed processing his cash bail.
Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina presided over the MP’s arraignment, and his family and supporters appeared in solidarity.
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The magistrate released him on a cash bail of Sh100, 000 in the subversive case related to the anti-government demonstrations by the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition.
After his release, the MP’s supporters in court started celebrating as they exited the court, where chaos erupted.
The anti-riot police officers were waiting for him outside the court, and the fracas saw Standard Newspaper photographer being assaulted.
In a captured video, the police officers are seen pushing Collins Kweyu away, causing him to fall down while holding his camera.
While speaking to Nairobi News minutes after the incident, he admitted that he was harassed by the anti-riot police officers who went on to push him even after identifying himself as a journalist.
“Yes. They pushed me. My left knee was injured and I’m feeling some pain right now. I identified myself as a journalist but they were not ready to hear me,” Mr Kweyu said.
He mentioned that the increase in police presence might have been a response to the accusations made by Bunge La Mwananchi President Alvin Gaucho. Gaucho pointed to a member of the security team in the court, alleging that the same person had attacked him while he was detained in the police cell.
“Maybe they thought that Babu Owino supporters could turn and attack the police officer who was pinpointed by Gaucho in court…they were very rough on us as the media,” Mr Kweyu noted.
Mr. Gaucho, a prominent advocate for demonstrations against the high cost of living, is among the individuals who have recently been arrested.
Their arraignment coincides with the final day of the third wave of Azimio demonstrations, with several rallies planned in Nairobi.
Despite this, anti-riot police officers remain stationed in Nairobi CBD, including within Jeevanjee Gardens, which Azimio had designated as one of their meeting venues.