NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – It was a protest unlike those that have graced television screens in the recent past; there were no stones hurled at police, teargas lobbed at protestors or rats carried in cages as was witnessed in Nyeri when residents protested the perceived exorbitance of their County Assembly representatives.
It was a dignified protest; befitting the stature of learned friends.
But there was nothing dignified about the misdeed the dozens of lawyers – clad in suits with purple ribbons pinned onto their lapels – say was done unto their partner in law: abduction.
Willie Kimani they said, had been missing since Thursday, June 23 and, “possibly,” in the unlawful custody of Administration Police.
And so it was that they now found themselves lined up in neat rows behind their representatives, in the middle of the day, to demand that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority now get involved in the matter and carry out a probe independent of the already ongoing investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
“The investigations that have been done by the organisation that Willie was working for, the International Justice Mission, have given pointers as to where his whereabouts may be at this point in time. We however cannot speak with assurance, because we are not privy personally to the investigations. What we do know is that on the day of the abduction of Willie and his companions, they had come from dealing with a court case at Mavoko Law Courts that was involving an Administration Police officer,” the LSK Nairobi Branch Chairman Charles Kanjama told Capital FM News.
It is this suspected police involvement in the abduction of Willie, his client Josephat Mwenda and cab driver Joseph Muiruri on Mombasa Road that led them to later march to the office of the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to demand audience; their demands, as one would expect of any legal professional worth their salt, set out and enumerated in a letter to him and the Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro.
“Abduction of any Kenyan is a criminal offence. There is a lawful way of securing arrest of suspects,” Kanjama stated while seated at the foot of the Supreme Court steps with those he represented lined up behind him.
The lawyers who demanded to be involved in the investigations have given the authorities seven days to give a “full report” on the suspected abduction or risk being forced out of office.
“We are troubled at the indicators that the National Police Service has not taken sufficient effort and dispatch to investigate the disappearance or ensure the earliest discovery of the whereabouts and conditions of the abductees,” the lawyers communicated in their letter to Boinnet and Muhoro.