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Police: Raila Odinga’s aide Eliud Owalo grilled over alleged revolution plot

COUNTIES
By - CYRUS OMBATI | July 20th 2013

By CYRUS OMBATI

KENYA: Police say investigations into a group called the March Four Movement were the reason they questioned an aide of ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The unregistered group is believed to be planning major protests nationwide.

Officers were investigating claims Mr Eliud Owalo had been recruiting youths in his office with an intention of holding protests across the country. Criminal Investigation Department sources said they had been getting reports that Owalo was the head of the group, based in Hurlingham, Nairobi and was “planning disruptions”.

Owalo has denied the claims.

The officers add that he is suspected of organising with diplomats, foreign embassies, the clergy and civil society to oppose the Jubilee Government.

They say the former PM’s aide is suspected of planning an Egyptian style revolution and believe he has received millions of shillings from foreign embassies through a Nairobi law firm to further these objectives. The money is disguised as proceeds of legal transactions.

The officers, however, have not revealed the source of their information. And because there was no formal complainant, Owalo declined to record a statement with the police on Tuesday when he was summoned.

Owalo said the detectives wanted him to explain what he knew about a campaign to “destabilise the Government.”  “They told me about the allegations that I was working with churches, NGOs and other organisations to destabilise the Government,” he said after the session with detectives at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters in Nairobi.

“But I declined to have my statement recorded because I was not officially summoned,” he said.

Intimidation

The detectives say they are still investigating the matter. Before he went to see the detectives, Owalo said he fears the Jubilee Government has hatched a plan to silence its critics.

“My considered opinion is that this is yet another act of political intimidation aimed at silencing divergent political views,” he said in a Facebook posting.

Officers from the Serious Crimes Unit headed by Mr John Kariuki summoned him to appear before them.

Owalo said the allegations that he plans to destabilise the Government came after he penned an opinion article, in The Standard On Sunday in, which he called for immediate dissolution of the IEBC.

When the reports emanated, he again posted a message on Facebook saying it was “cheap propaganda being peddled by the Jubilee Government through the security and intelligence apparatus and their agents to divert the attention of Kenyans from the myriad challenges it is facing, including but not limited to the on-going teachers’ strike and complicity of Jubilee and the IEBC in the Makueni by-election nomination fiasco.”

He added the Jubilee Government must be alive to the fact that it will be evaluated on the basis of its scorecard against its campaign manifesto and should therefore desist from diversionary tactics.

“Nobody of sound mind will labour to sabotage a Government that is not only dysfunctional but also has its priorities upside down.”

“I thought the above laid this issue to rest. However, I am deeply perturbed to have received a call from one Mr Cheruiyot Tuesday morning summoning me to CID headquarters to “clarify certain issues”.

 He informed him that my lawyer James Orengo will get in touch with him to arrange an appropriate time for the same but they insisted on him going there on Tuesday.

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