Former Chief Justice Mutunga denies arrest amidst DCI interrogation drama

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Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. (Courtesy)

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has denied reports of being arrested at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters.

Drama unfolded on Monday when activists Boniface Mwangi, Hussein Khalid, and Hanifa Adan presented themselves at the DCI for questioning over ongoing protests against proposed taxes.

Mutunga accompanied the activists to the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road at 11 am. Shortly after their arrival, the group was dramatically moved from the DCI offices for further questioning.

Police stated they needed a quieter location to interrogate the activists about their involvement in the protests.

Contrary to some reports, Mutunga clarified that he had not been arrested.

"I can confirm that I have not been arrested. I, and other lawyers, are representing Boniface, Khalid, and Adan at the Nairobi Regional Headquarters," Mutunga said.

Security was tightened around the DCI headquarters, with police barring people about 200 meters from the main gate.

According to Mwangi, they were there to present a petition about alleged abductions targeting peaceful protesters.

"Two Subarus attempted to kidnap us on Friday outside City Mortuary, but we managed to escape. We are here to tell the DCI to arrest us or allow us to protest peacefully," Mwangi stated.

Mwangi also highlighted that the recent abductions mirrored past incidents of forced disappearances.

"This is a return to the Yala River era. We are seeing so many abductions in this country, yet President Ruto had said he would end torture," Mwangi said. "The president said 'no more River Yala,' but this is River Yala all over again."

Khalid echoed these sentiments, expressing their determination to defend the rights of Kenyans against over-taxation.

"We don't fear arrest; we don't fear death. We are ready to die," Khalid said.

Police allowed Mutunga, Mwangi, and Khalid to enter the DCI headquarters, accompanied by their lawyers, while blocking other protesters a distance away from the main gate.

These developments come amidst a spate of abductions targeting individuals vocal in their opposition to the Finance Bill 2024.

Notable among those arrested include blogger Billy Simani and Dr. Austin Omondi, also known as Ja Prado, who have since been released.

On Sunday night, Shad Khalif, an outspoken critic of the Finance Bill 2024, was abducted from Sanasana in South B, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

A CCTV video circulating on social media shows Khalif being forced into a white Toyota Prado before the vehicle drives away.

His abduction occurred shortly after Dr. Austin Omondi's kidnapping while organising a blood donation drive for injured protestors along Forest Road in Nairobi.

Dr. Omondi was released on Sunday evening following public outcry.

Earlier in the week, blogger Billy Simani, alias Crazy Nairobian, was arrested on Friday, June 21, and released on Saturday, June 22, evening.

In a statement after his release, Simani thanked Law Society of Kenya President Faith Odhiambo for her intervention, reassuring his supporters of his safety.

Leslie Muturi, son of Attorney General Justine Muturi, was also reportedly arrested by Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) officers on Saturday night in Lavington.

His detention was disclosed by Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje, with Muturi subsequently released on Sunday evening.

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