A supporter of Kenyan opposition party National Super Alliance (NASA) leader gestures while holding a bible during a leader’s rally in Homa Bay on the shores of Lake Victoria, on January 27, 2018.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga was holding a rally on January 27, days before he plans to swear himself in as president of Kenya three months after losing an election to President Uhuru Kenyatta which he says was rigged. / AFP PHOTO / BRIAN ONGORO
Kenyan police on Friday arrested an outspoken member of the opposition, Miguna Miguna, in a dawn raid on his Nairobi home, police and his party said.
Armed officers used explosives to break down the door before arresting Miguna, a witness said.
“There were several blasts heard at his home before he was finally taken out,” said a neighbour who did not want to be named.
Miguna is a provocative firebrand who attended the Tuesday mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “people’s president”, in defiance of last year’s election that saw Uhuru Kenyatta win a second term.
On Thursday he goaded police, daring them to arrest him saying he had signed Odinga’s oath, “So if you want to take me to court for doing my job, come baby come!”
He also urged supporters to “take down portraits of illegitimate president Kenyatta” and burn them.
Miguna’s arrest follows that of TJ Kajwang, a lawyer and MP who was arrested on Wednesday and is due to be charged with treason and unlawful assembly.
Both men played prominent roles in the mock swearing-in, flanking Odinga as he took an oath while clutching a Bible, Miguna is his trademark kufi cap and Kajwang in a judge’s robe and wig.
Their presence was particularly important given the absence of all three of Odinga’s partners in the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition.
While Miguna lost in his bid to become governor of Nairobi last year and holds no official position within NASA, he is the self-styled “general” of the party’s “National Resistance Movement” wing which is tasked with implementing a threatened programme of civil disobedience and boycotts.
Following Odinga’s pretend inauguration Kenya’s government designated the NRM as an “organised criminal group”.
Friday’s arrest is the latest twist in the long saga of Kenya’s disputed elections which saw the Supreme Court annul the result of the initial August poll and Odinga boycott the October rerun.
Odinga insists he is the real winner and therefore the legitimate president of Kenya.