NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 — Police have asked a Kiambu Court to permit the detention of former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa for 7 days, pending the conclusion of ongoing investigations following cases of violence during a March 4 by-election in Kakamega.
An Investigating Officer who made the request on Monday said Echesa, who spent the weekend in custody, can interfere with witnesses if released before the ongoing probe is concluded.
“I have reasonable evidence that the respondent may interfere with witnesses,” the Investigating Officer said.
Echesa was recorded in a viral video slapping an electoral official for allegedly kicking out the United Democratic Alliance party agents from a polling station in Matungu.
He surrendered after the Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai issued an ultimatum, saying he would to be declared armed and dangerous.
The court will issue its ruling Tuesday on whether to grant police more time or not.
The former Cabinet Secretary will in the meantime be held at Muthaiga police station.
Amani National Congress (ANC) candidate Peter Nabulindo won the Matungu parliamentary by-election, which was marred with incidents of violence.
The March 4 by-elections in Kakamega and Bungoma saw the arrest of legislators Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Nelson Koech (Belgut), Wilson Kogo (Chesumei) and Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei for allegedly planning violence in Kabuchai constituency.
They were subsequently charged in court.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi has since issued a stern warning against politicians fueling violence, saying the government will invoke Chapter 6 of the Constitution, to ensure they’re barred from office in subsequent elections.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) summoned all the politicians involved the by-election violence.
“These summons do not just indicate our intention to investigate and prosecute but rather also indicate the plan of the Commission to stop the unethical from occupying the office,” the commission said in a statement.