Narok County lawmakers released on bail

Four local lawmakers and one senator accused of playing a role in co-ordinating riots in Narok town have been released from police custody on bail, Kenya’s Capital FM reported Thursday (January 29th).

Senator Stephen ole Ntutu and four local lawmakers had been detained at a Nairobi police station after appearing at the Criminal Investigations Department a day after ignoring their initial summons for questioning about Monday’s riots.

The five were released after Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko informed Senior Principal Magistrate Enock Cherono their detention had sparked riots.

Hundreds of protestors clashed with police on Thursday and blocked traffic on the Nairobi-Narok highway to demand the release of the lawmakers.

“We have just received information on what is going on [on] the ground in Narok and surrounding areas,” Tobiko told the court where the lawmakers were charged. “Narok is in flames, roads and property have been destroyed, purportedly because their leaders have been detained.”

The court collected personal bonds of 500,000 shillings ($5,450) from each of the accused, although it declined to ban them from engaging in lawful demonstrations.

The Monday riots, in which at least one person died and eight were injured, were sparked by allegations that Narok County Governor Samuel Tunai had been misappropriating government funds.