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Why Kenya’s youngest MP is being held in police custody

Igembe South member of parliament John Paul Mwirigi has been arrested and taken to Mikinduri police Station for mobilising Probox and motorcycle drivers to oppose the ongoing road safety crackdown.

Tigania East divisional police commander Sammy Kosgei confirmed the arrest which took place on Monday afternoon.

Mr Mwirigi was apprehended in connection to a Monday morning incident in which the transporters blocked a road to protest against the ongoing crackdown.

He was taken to the station that is in Tigania East in Meru County.

Mikinduri town Chief Jacob Michuki told the Nation that the MP was with people who attempted to remove a police roadblock at Kiguchwa market along Mikinduri- Maua road.

Officers manning the roadblock were forced to call for reinforcement but the youthful legislator and his entourage fled.

CRACKDOWN

Area police boss Sammy Kosgei said the lawmaker will be arraigned on Thursday.

“He came all the way from Igembe South to Tigania East to disturb us. No one is above the law,” he said. “We are looking into the offence that we will charge him with.”

Kiguchwa is in Tigania East, which borders Mr Mwirigi’s constituency. Passengers using route were largely served by private vehicles.

The chief further said that Mr Mwirigi on Friday accompanied East African Legislative Assembly MP Mpuru Aburi to Mikinduri, where they urged the operators of non-compliant vehicles to return to the roads despite the crackdown.

Mr Aburi had led demonstrations against the crackdown on Probox operators in Chuka (Tharaka-Nithi), Meru town and Maua town.

He gave police seven days to allow non-compliant vehicles back on the roads.

YOUNGEST MP

Mr Mwirigi became Kenya’s youngest MP when he won the race in the 2017 general election at 23 years of age.

He vied as an independent candidate and did not have a flashy campaign.

Mr Mwirigi, a Bachelor of Education student at Mt Kenya University, garnered 18,867 votes against Jubilee Party candidate Rufus Miriti who got 15,411.

He said at the time that his first agenda would be supporting agribusiness activities, promoting entrepreneurship and nurturing talent.

“Since I come from a humble background, I understand the issues that affect the residents. My key agenda will be to transform the lives of the people,” he said.