Clavince Gaucho, the self-proclaimed president of the Bunge La Wananchi, recently shared his distressing experience in police custody after being unexpectedly arrested in Nairobi.
Gaucho narrated the events surrounding his arrest and subsequent release, shedding light on the treatment he endured during his 24-hour detention without any formal charges being filed against him.
His account raises concerns about the conduct of the police and the protection of civil liberties in the country.
Gaucho’s ordeal began when he visited the Central Police Station in Nairobi to retrieve his confiscated mobile phones from a prior arrest.
To his surprise, a female police officer summoned him to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations office within the station, claiming she had misplaced the key required to access his phone.
While waiting, the Officer in Charge of Station approached him, confirming his identity and informing him that the Officer Commanding Police Division had been seeking him. It was at this point that several individuals arrived and apprehended him.
The Harrowing Experience:
Transported in a convoy of three vehicles, Gaucho was taken on an extended journey that spanned locations like Kikuyu and Kiambu. During the one-hour car ride, the arresting officers repeatedly emphasized that his activities were causing trouble for the government.
Gaucho grew increasingly concerned for his safety and repeatedly requested to be taken back to the police station. However, his pleas were ignored, and he was taken to Ruiru Police Station instead.
Interrogation and Alleged Coercion:
At Ruiru Police Station, Gaucho claims he was presented with a statement accusing him of organizing the burning of a matatu on Ngong Road, inciting violence, and spreading hate speech. Refusing to confirm or deny the allegations, Gaucho refused to sign any document except for providing his name and identity number.
He further alleges that the police denied his request to contact his lawyer, and intimidation tactics, including threats of violence and death, were employed against him.
According to Gaucho, the police demanded a sum of Sh 50,000 from him. However, due to a condition that causes temporary memory loss under shock, he had forgotten his M-Pesa pin number. They also insisted on a cash bail of Sh 100,000, which he could not afford.
The police suggested charging his phone and escorting him to an M-Pesa shop to withdraw Sh 50,000, but Gaucho was unable to recall his PIN. Eventually, after negotiation, he managed to secure Sh 30,000 from a benefactor, including a contribution from Jakom Raila Amollo Odinga.