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Second Kisumu man joins hunger strike over Miguna saga

By Harold Odhiambo | Published Tue, April 3rd 2018 at 13:43, Updated April 3rd 2018 at 13:53 GMT +3
Boniface Akumu on hunger strike at the Kondele flyover, Kisumu. [Dennish Ochieng, Standard]

Another man has now joined the hunger strike started by an activist last week to protest the deportation of lawyer, Miguna Miguna.

The two are now seeking to rally more residents to join them in the peaceful protest.

Paul Mark, a Mamboleo resident in Kisumu started his hunger strike in solidarity with Boniface Ogutu who has been going on without eating anything for four days.

This even as Miguna cautioned his supporters against risking their lives over his woes after receiving reports of hunger strike from a number of supporters.

The duo has camped at the Kondele roundabout and have threatened to continue with the hunger strike until the deported lawyer is brought back to the country.

They said the hunger strike is one of the ways that can push the government to act and respect the constitution and the rule of law.

Mark who said he took his last meal on Monday evening began his strike yesterday morning with a promise to continue going without food until the government obeys court orders.

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He said that they are also working on petitions to present to various government institutions.

“We believe the hunger strike is the way to go and we will be having night vigils and also demonstrations because the government must respect the constitution,” said Mark.

The two activists believe that their method of protesting will also help reduce confrontations with the police which have always turned bloody in the lakeside town.

Mark cited a number of injustices which he claimed the government has committed against innocent Kenyans and also the failure by the government to bring to book police officers who have been linked to the death of innocent Kenyans.

“There are a lot of injustices in our country and this is not just about Miguna Miguna. The people who killed an innocent Kenyan like lawyer Willy Kimani, the Meru University student leader among other Kenyans, have never been brought to book,” he said.

“What happened to Miguna Miguna can happen to anyone of us and that is why we must fight it now before it spirals out of control,” said Mark.

“We are hoping that Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyongo will also join us even for a single night vigil. We will not relent in our quest to ensure that the constitution is respected,” said Mark.

For Ogutu, the hunger strike will help root for the return of the lawyer and also promote peaceful protests as they seek to compel the government to obey laws.

He says he was motivated by what he termed as the government’s continued disobedience to the courts and rule of law after senior government officials failed to abide by court directives in the case facing Miguna.

“I do not care even if I die of hunger. I have been very unhappy with the way the state has been abusing the rule of law,” said Ogutu.

He says the second deportation of Miguna Miguna to Dubai was his turning point after he saw videos of police officers roughing up the lawyer and forcing him into a plane, in disregard of his rights.

He vows to continue with his hunger strike until he sees what he termed as “government compliance with the rule of law”.

Miguna lauded their efforts in a social media post urging Ogutu and “others not to die”.

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