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Police, politicians asked to stop harassing bloggers

02 March 2016, 08:23 Joseph Njung'eh

Nyeri - Kiharu MP, Irungu Kang’ata has asked police and politicians to stop harassing bloggers.

Kang’ata said the freedom of expression and criticism of leaders should be given adequate space.

Speaking outside Nyeri Law Courts after making an application on release of Martha Wanjiru Miano who was arrested for allegedly insulting relatives of Governor Nderitu Gachagua, Kang’ata said politicians are using police to harass dissenting voices.

“Police should stop being misused by politicians. Once you offer yourself in leadership you must accept criticism,” said the lawyer.

He made the application before Nyeri Resident Magistrate John Aringo.

Wanjiru, 23, was arrested at Karatina town and swiftly arraigned in court where prosecution asked court to detain her for seven days to enable completion of investigations.

She is accused of misusing a communication gadget.

Read Also: 110 journalists killed in 2015, most in 'peaceful' countries

The lawyer, however, said police would not have arrested her if they had not finished conducting their investigations and collecting evidence.

“The charges facing Wanjiru are demeaning and are unconstitutional,” said Kang’ata.

Wanjiru, who works for Mathira MP Peter Weru at the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) offices, allegedly posted messages against Governor Gachagua’s brother, Rigathi Gachagua, on Facebook.

She alluded that the Governor’s brother was misusing County funds and acting as the defacto county boss when Gachagua is not in the County.

Nyeri leaders led by politician Wambugu Nyamu condemned the arrest saying County Government and political aspirants affiliated to the Governor are intimidating bloggers.

“The young girl is being harassed just because of criticizing powerful individuals in the County Government. This should not be allowed to continue in the current Kenya,” said Nyamu.

He said the arrest was to intimidate others opposed to the County Government.

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