Home » From Miguna Miguna to Fred Matiang’i: The continued struggle against night arrests in Kenya

From Miguna Miguna to Fred Matiang’i: The continued struggle against night arrests in Kenya

by Paul Nyongesa
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The attempted arrest of former Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday night at his Karen residence has sparked debates about night arrests in Kenya.

Elite police officers arrived and surrounded his home, but the reason for the arrest was not specified.

Matiang’i claimed to have learned of the planned raid earlier in the day and said he had appeared before ten Public Accounts Committees for the last ten years he was in government and walked out with no negative mark.

“I have been told they want to raid my home at night. If they want something from this house, I don’t know why they want to raid at night. I have not done anything wrong,” he told the Star.

Gideon Keter, a former Jubilee MP, reminded Kenyans of the night arrest of lawyer Migina Miguna in 2018.

“I remember the day Fred Matiang’i was arresting senators at night. How he was so wrong to arrest Miguna Miguna at night, the list goes on and on… Wembe ni ule ule,” he said.

Miguna was arrested after police used force to break into his house following a brief standoff. A few days earlier, he had administered an oath to opposition leader Raila Odinga at Uhuru Park.

In response to Matiang’i’s alleged attempted arrest, Miguna questioned the whereabouts of Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni when he was arrested and detained in 2018.

“Where were you when Matiang’i & Co blew up my house, abducted me at night, detained and tortured me? Where were you when Matiang’i & Co disobeyed court orders, blocked me from entering Kenya for 5 years, sedated and dumped me unconscious in Dubai?” Miguna asked.

Senator Samson Cherargei, also a victim of a night arrest, shared his experience on April 21, 2022.

“Matiang’i ordered my arrest at night on 21/4/22 and was detained at Capitol hill police station at 6 pm and later at Gigiri police station,” he said.

“Bado safari ni mbali, alambe glucose,” Cherargei added.

According to police sources, a warrant of arrest was issued against him for allegedly causing a disturbance in court. He was arrested at night by Matiang’i and was detained at Capitol Hill and Gigiri police stations.

Night arrests have a long and controversial history in Kenya, with many feeling they violate personal freedom and are a breach of the law.

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