NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 15 – Former Alego Usonga MP and veteran journalist Otieno Mak’Onyango has been awarded Sh20 million as damages for illegal detention during the former President Daniel Moi’s era.
The former MP was detained following the abortive 1982 coup during the Moi government.
“Mak’Onyango’s fundamental and constitutional rights were violated,” ruled Justice Kalpana Rawal as he awarded him the damages on Friday
Mak’Onyango had sued the former President and Attorney General in his suit.
Justice Rawal on June 13 summoned Prime Minister Raila Odinga to testify in support of Mak’Onyango.
The former MP sued the state and President Moi for detaining him unlawfully in 1983 for four years after he was accused of treason.
He was detained together with the Prime Minister at the GSU headquarters following their arrest between August 18 to September 23, 1982.
Mak’Onyango told the trial court that he was tortured in detention.
The former Alego Usonga MP was demanding Sh2 billion as compensation for suffering he underwent after the failed coup in August 1, 1982.
Giving his final submissions during the trial, the former legislator said he was arrested at the tender age of 35 while he worked as a journalist with the Standard.
He thereafter lost his job and argued that as a journalist, he would have worked up to the age of 70, but his career was brought to an abrupt end following the arrest.
Mak’Onyango said he was arrested on August 17, 1982 at the Standard newspaper offices on Likoni Road and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters in Nairobi.
The next day police entered his house at Buru Buru Estate and took away personal documents including letters and his passport.
He was detained at the General Service Unit Headquarters together with Odinga and others between August 18 and September 23, 1982.
Mak’Onyango alleges that he was held incommunicado and tortured during the detention.