Kenya State House marchers remanded

July 20, 2011 10:15 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – More than 30 civil society activists led by Okoiti Omtatah have been remanded in police custody until July 25 when they refused to identify themselves in court, as they faced charges of creating disturbances.

The activists were also accused of shouting and blocking State House road to other road users.

The activists were arrested on Tuesday after they staged a protest march towards State House to demand resignation of Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri over the loss of money meant for free and subsidised education.

Their protest was cut short by police who intercepted them on State House Avenue as they were heading to present their demand to President Kibaki.

When they appeared in court on Wednesday morning, the activists paralysed court proceedings by singing and chanting patriotic songs including the National Anthem.

Although Mr Omtatah identified himself, the other activists refused to disclose their identities and instead demanded that their case be referred to the Chief Justice. The presiding magistrate was at one time forced to read the riot act to Mr Omtatah after he told her “not to be used like a condom.”

Mr Omtatah was forced to withdraw his statement after the court threatened to cite him for contempt of court.

The case will now be in court on Monday by which time police have been directed to take the full records and fingerprints of all the suspects.


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