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DPP orders release of Lang’ata land grab protesters

Three activists arrested during a a demonstration to protest the grabbing of Lang’ata Road Primary School’s playground did not take plea on Tuesday after the Director of Public Prosecutions ordered police to release them.

Mr Irungu Houghton, Mr Boaz Waruku and Mr Vincent Mkangula were taken to Kibera Law Courts on Tuesday morning but later returned to the Lang’ata police station on Mr Tobiko’s orders.

“ The DPP has ordered the police to release the activists on police bail. They will be returned to Lang’ata police station, they are not going to be charged today,” lawyer Harun Ndubi told civil society representatives who arrived in the court early to show solidarity with their colleagues.

Mr Ndubi said the DPP called for two files prepared by police for review and give directions.

He said police planned to charge the activists with participating in unlawful demonstrations, incitement to violence, malicious damage to property and creating disturbance.

MALICIOUS CHARGES

Mr Mkangula faced a separate count of stealing during the demonstration that left five pupils and a police officer with injuries.

“ They are escalated charges and malicious. We leave it to the DPP to decide,” Mr Ndubi told journalists outside the court.

He said the action by police to arrest the three activists was made to intimidate the civil society.

“ I am disappointed that the policemen who lobbed tear gas to school children were not charged. Suspending the Lang’ata OCPD is not enough. We will require the officers to be punished,” he said.

National Civil Society Congress president Morris Odhiambo termed the police action draconian and uncivilized.