Nandi Senator Cherargei grilled, released after arrest

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei arrives at Kisumu Central Police Station after he was arrested in Eldoret over remarks the police deemed inflammatory. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei yesterday recorded a statement about remarks he made over the weekend and which authorities consider to be inflammatory.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officials stormed into the lawmaker's compound in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu, yesterday and bundled him into a police vehicle.

The senator was driven to the Eldoret West divisional DCI office to record a statement and was later taken to Kisumu under tight security.

In Kisumu, the lawmaker was quickly led into DCI offices where he was interrogated then released.

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Onesmus arap Towett, the Kisumu County head of DCI, said Mr Cherargei was released on a personal free bond and directed to present himself at the DCI offices in Nandi tomorrow.

Cherargei, a staunch supporter of Deputy President (DP) William Ruto, was summoned on Monday after a video that has been doing rounds on social media showed him warning Dr Ruto’s critics of unspecified action.

He emerged from the questioning room after two hours and said that he did not threaten anyone.

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“I was asked to record a statement and the bone of contention was three words. We wanted to find out the various meaning of certain words,” he said.

The senator claimed that the statement he made meant that they would meet the people criticising Ruto at the ballot in 2022.

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"Nilisema tutawashugulikia kisiasa, kwa debe," (I said we will face them at the ballot)," the legislator added. 

The remarks were made at a funeral at Lelwak area in Nandi county.

He told journalists that he has always championed for peace and respect of human rights, and denied any wrongdoing.

“We should not turn this into political persecution. Let us give the detectives time to complete their investigations,” Cherargei said.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, who joined him at the police station, criticised the officers over what he termed as "selective investigations".

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Mr Sang said he read mischief in the way detectives have been conducting their probe into various cases.

“We have seen statements from Kieleweke team that we should be investigated, we have seen them interrupt a function of the Inua Mama team, but no action has been taken against them,” said Sang.

He urged leaders to promote peace in the country and also urged the police to act swiftly on other cases.

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Samson CherargeiNandiInflammatory remarksDCIKisumu