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Man arrested for slapping election observer bailed out – VIDEO

The man who was arrested after being caught on video slapping an election observer during Ruguru Ward by-election in Nyeri on Wednesday has been released.

Mathira West police chief Kiptoo Birgen said the suspect had been released on a Sh10,000 cash bail.

“We tried to contain the situation as much as we could. This morning, we arrested the suspect. He was able to post bail,” he said.

He said they are waiting for the victim, Ms Martha Miano, to submit a P3 report before charging the suspect on Wednesday.

Before his arrest, leaders in the county, led by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, condemned the incident and faulted the police for their slow response.

The woman was assaulted at Kiamariga Police Station as police officers watched but the attacker managed to leave the station without being arrested.

ELECTION MALPRACTICE

The incident happened as supporters of Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua confronted Ms Miano, an observer for Political Parties Liason Committee when she went to report alleged election malpractice at the police station.

She was slapped and roughed up by man who wanted to eject her from the station on grounds that she was a campaigner for one of the candidates in the by-election.

In a video captured on a mobile phone and shared on social media, a man is seen and heard questioning the role of Ms Miano as an observer claiming that she is a campaigner for one of the candidates in the Ruguru Ward race.

According to Miano, insults were hurled at her as she was assaulted by supporters of the legislator. She further claims that the police did not want to take her statement.

Gachagua however denied any involvement in the confrontation with Ms Miano but accused her of being partisan.

The election Returning Officer John Kahura, has also confirmed the incident.

Additional reporting by Hilary Kimuyu