Pro-govt blogger Gordon Opiyo narrates ordeal in the hands of police
Government leaning blogger Gordon Opiyo has accused a section of Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition supporters of colluding with the police to have him arrested in the aftermath of the March 27, 2023 protests.
According to Mr Opiyo, he had been trailed by a police officer from Aga Khan Hospital who kept giving updates about him to other colleagues waiting for him in the Central Business District.
Mr Opiyo, known for often criticizing opposition leader Raila Odinga on social media, claims actions by these officers during and after arresting him showed that they were in cahoots with Azimio leaning bloggers who broadcasted his arrest using photos taken inside the cell where he was held.
“3am Thought. On this day, at this hour I was born… As the first of the twins, at the Aga Khan Hospital. That is why I got the name Opiyo. It was a coincidence that I spent most of last week at the Aga Khan University, attending a conference on Sustainable Journalism. And yesterday, hours before my big day, as I was from Aga Khan Hospital dealing with another matter, I got arrested… I then realized that that if you are destined for greatness, you become marked and become a target,” Mr Opiyo wrote.
He claims he had been walking to the CBD and that a police officer who knew of his Facebook page activities had been following him. He alleges that the officer following him radioed his colleagues and gave his description to them using negative language.
“Just as I came to the Kenya National Archives, I found a white Land Cruiser with five officers, led by an officer of Somali descent. He asked me to stop, and retorted, ‘wewe ndiyo unaandika maneno mbaya’ (you are the one writing bad things)! And without any explanation, he bundled me into the waiting car. Immediately, the officer in charge took away my phone, and with a few slaps I found myself at Central Police Station.
“I did not panic, because I knew that I would be out. But without a phone, there was no way I could communicate. The officer then came back to the cells, took a photo of me, and a photo of my Media Council of Kenya card, and disappeared. I did not know why he came back to take my photos inside the cell. A few minutes later, I was given a phone to call a few people, and when was making the call, someone else was strategically placed inside the cell to take photos of me. I found it very strange that someone was allowed to remain with his phone inside the cells,” Mr Opiyo said.
The photos taken by his fellow cell mate appeared on social media as Mr Opiyo claimed it circulated especially on Azimio leaning pages and groups. He also named individuals who he claims are responsible for sharing and making the photo go viral.
Mr Opiyo claims his he secured his freedom after he reached out to a top government official, while bragging that the official sent a Land Cruiser V8 to pick him up. He claims the police officers who had been insulting him earlier began treating him differently. Mr Opiyo went on to liken himself to Paul and Silas of the Bible.
“That is the 3am thought during this birthday… It is about the change in season… When Paul and Silas prayed, the prison doors were opened and the same people who had the keys to the cells ended up trembling after the doors were open,” said Mr Opiyo.