Activists rally over abductions, arrests during anti-Finance Bill protests

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga joined activists on Monday, June 24 at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Kiambu Road to protest against increased abductions and arbitrary arrests of protestors.

 Their action follows widespread anti-Finance Bill 2024 protests across the country, during which some participants have disappeared and others have been detained.

One of those missing is Shad Khalif, who vanished after being abducted in South B, Nairobi, by unknown individuals who had followed him there.

Before his disappearance, Khalif discussed his involvement in the protests, stating the movement had no leader or financier.

Video footage shared on social media captured Khalif being forcibly taken by three individuals and driven away in a vehicle from a restaurant's parking lot. Police are yet to comment on the incident.

Khalif's abduction comes shortly after another protester, Dr Austin Omondi, was also abducted and later released.

Earlier, Leslie Muturi, son of Attorney General Justine Muturi, was similarly kidnapped and subsequently freed after being held and questioned for hours at the ATPU offices in Upper Hill on Sunday, June 23.

Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje disclosed Leslie's abduction in a video, attributing it to police action on June 22.

The motive behind these abductions remains unclear, though they appear linked to the protests against the Finance Bill.

Activists have demanded explanations for these abductions of perceived protest leaders.

The nationwide protests are set to continue as Members of Parliament prepare to vote on the bill.

"Abductions are unconstitutional and the police must adhere to human rights," Mutunga asserted while addressing journalists outside the DCI headquarters.