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Tension as Mombasa MCA seized by police after calling for poll boycott

By Patrick Beja | Published Sat, October 21st 2017 at 00:00, Updated October 20th 2017 at 20:37 GMT +3
Mombasa County leaders and residents outside the Port Police Station on Friday after going to see Airport Ward MCA Ibrahim Omondi. The MCA was arrested over what has been termed as careless remarks. (Photo: Kelvin Karani)

A contingent of armed officers on Thursday morning raided the home of a local Member of County Assembly and arrested him for allegedly calling for October 26 election boycott.

About 60 officers are said to have stormed the home of Airport ward MCA Ibrahim Omondi alias Bomoa in Changamwe in Mombasa at dawn and whisked him to Changamwe Police Station before he was transferred to Port police station.

Police said he was also arrested following his remarks dismissing President Uhuru Kenyatta as a caretaker and not the ‘real’ President.

The arrest dampened the spirit of Mashujaa Day celebrations with no politician turning up for the fete. County commissioner Evans Achoki addressed a virtually empty stadium yesterday.

Elected leaders, among them; Senator Mohamed Faki, deputy governor William Kingi, Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi and several MCAs visited Bomoa at the Port Police Station where he was being held and demanded his immediate release.

The officers attempted to disperse the leaders but they stood their ground before they were allowed to see their colleague.

“Police officers tried to chase us away but we remained firm. They first told us he had been transferred to Bamburi Police Station, but when we remained adamant, they finally allowed us access. He is in good condition but we demand his immediate release,” Dr Kingi said.

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Mr Bomoa’s brother, Kenneth Wandera, said the officers raided his brother’s home at 3am, ransacked the house before arresting him. He was driven to Changamwe Police Station before being transferred to the Port police station.

“We sensed trouble on Thursday when unknown people called me at 4pm and said they would arrest my brother. The family was shocked when our home was surrounded by 3 am today when they arrested my brother.

“I have been denied access to even give him food. I am worried he has not eaten since yesterday,” Wandera said outside the Port police station.

According to Dr Kingi, Mr Bomoa, while in custody was shown video clips of a press conference he and other MCAs held on Thursday at the Assembly which police claimed amounted to incitement.

It is claimed Bomoa had insinuated that the country was under a caretaker president following the nullification of the August 8 presidential election and the ongoing political turbulence.

Senator Faki, who is also a lawyer, said police should have summoned Mr Bomoa and recorded a statement instead of raiding his home at night and brandishing guns.

“What the officers did was intimidation of elected leaders. It is unwarranted for 60 of them to descend on the house on an MCA at night with blazing guns to arrest him. They should have simply summoned and have him record a statement,” Faki said.

The senator said they have been assured by police at the station that the MCA was set to be released before 4pm Friday.

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