A Kenyan opposition member was charged with treason in court on Tuesday for taking part in the symbolic inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga, as the authorities also struck 14 opposition leaders with a ban on leaving the country.
Tuesday’s opposition demonstrations have degenerated into clashes with the police, including a death in the west of the country, an opposition stronghold.
Miguna Miguna is accused of having “consented to an oath to Raila Amollo Odinga forcing Raila Amollo Odinga to commit the treasonable crime of treason”, according to the indictment presented Tuesday in a court of Kajiado County, 80 km from Nairobi.
Mr. Miguna is also accused of being a member of the opposition National Resistance Movement (NRM), protesting against the re-election in 2017 of President Uhuru Kenyatta, and banned last week by the government after being described as “Criminal organization”. Mr. Miguna refused to indicate how he intended to plead.
He had played an important role in the oath-taking as “president of the people” on January 30 of Mr. Odinga, 73 years old. This symbolic gesture was part of the opposition movement of civil disobedience after Kenyatta’s re-election, which she refuses to recognize.
Mr Miguna, who lost the race in Nairobi governorate as an independent candidate in the August 2017 elections and does not hold any official opposition posts, was arrested on Friday during a spectacular raid. at his home at dawn by the police.
The latter has refused since Friday to comply with a court order ordering the release of bail Mr Miguna. On Tuesday, a Nairobi court confirmed that Mr Miguna should be released on bail, but in the early evening he had still not been released.
Miguna is one of three members of the opposition, along with deputies TJ Kajwang and George Aladwa, to be arrested in connection with Mr Odinga’s “investiture”.
The authorities have also announced that they have banned 14 Nasa opposition coalition leaders from leaving the territory, but have not communicated their names.
Some of them, including influential Nasa members, have publicly indicated that they have received a “passport suspension” notice. “That will not stop me from fighting for justice,” said former Senator Johnson Muthama, a top Nasa official targeted by the ban.
Many people took to the streets of Kisumu in western Kenya on Tuesday to demand the release of Mr. Miguna, and police used tear gas to disperse them.
In Ahero (west), the town of Mr. Miguna, police opened fire on fire to disperse protesters, killing a man who, according to his family, “did not protest”.
Kenyatta’s re-election was accompanied by months of unrest that claimed 92 lives, according to human rights defenders, mainly in the crackdown on opposition demonstrations.