Odinga consultant arrested on suspicion of inciting violence, says Kenyan police – tech2.org

Odinga consultant arrested on suspicion of inciting violence, says Kenyan police



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NAIROBI (Reuters) – A senior Kenyan opposition strategist who harshly criticized President Uhuru Kenyatta and asked that parts of the country be separated was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of inciting violence, police said on Monday.

The criminal investigations directorate said in a tweet that anti-corruption economist and fighter David Ndii was "currently under interrogation on matters related to the crime of incitement to violence", but did not elaborate.

The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) said on Sunday that Ndii had been arrested in the coastal city of Diani and his whereabouts are unknown.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga condemned the arrest and said Monday: "He has not committed any crime. (This is) designed to intimidate and fragment the people of Kenya."

The pro-democracy groups said that the arrest of Ndii raised concerns about freedom of expression.

"Ndii has been at the forefront of articulating problems with the way the country is run," said Gladwell Otieno, executive director of the African Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG) in Nairobi.

Ndii is an outspoken critic of Kenyatta, who was sworn in for a second presidential term last week after a prolonged election campaign that has disrupted the economy and sparked protests that killed more than 60 people.

NASA's senior policy adviser, has called from a disputed election in August that was overturned by the Supreme Court of the western and coastal areas that are bulwarks of the opposition to declare the independence of Kenya.

Odinga, who boycotted a poll repeated in October saying that the electoral commission had not carried out sufficient reforms, has said he prefers that the country remain united.

Kenyatta won the election again with 98 percent of the vote, but the country, a Western ally in an unstable region, remains deeply divided after months of bitter campaigns and sporadic violent confrontations.

Salim Lone, an adviser to Odinga, said Ndii was helping to organize the "takeover" of Odinga in a popular badembly on December 12, Kenya's independence day, a plan that has raised the possibility of new clashes with security forces.

Ndii's wife, Judith Mwende Gatabaki, told reporters Monday that he was arrested by men who identified themselves as members of the "flying squad", a police unit that is part of the criminal investigation directorate. She said that they searched the couple's hotel room before taking him away and that since then she has not been able to contact her husband.

"We came here to attend a wedding, there was nothing political about it and my husband is not a criminal," Gatabaki said.

Report of Humphrey Malalo; Additional reporting by Joseph Akwiri in Mombasa and Maggie Fick in Nairobi; Written by Maggie Fick; Edition by Catherine Evans

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