Two politicians arrested on Friday over the spate of killings in Matungu will not be arraigned on Monday as had been expected after they were released on Sunday night. Cleophas Malala, the Kakamega senator, and former Cabinet Secretary – Rashid Echesa, had been nabbed on Friday in Kisumu and Eldoret respectively over alleged involvement in the killings but were set free under unclear circumstances under the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
DPP's Press Statement on the Arrest of Hon. Senator Malala and three Others. pic.twitter.com/a1cqvpJjLd
— Office of The Director Of Public Prosecutions (@ODPP_KE) May 19, 2019
Last week, Interior CS Fred Matiangi ordered the deployment of General Service Unit personnel to deal with the violence that had left at least 20 people dead.Reports suggest two gangs are involved – 42 brothers and 14 brothers, with one of the arrested politicians being accused of funding two of the key suspects to a tune of KSh150,000 as per mobile phone transactions records.
A member of the National Assembly and Member of County Assembly were also arrested over the killings and alleged gang leaders.Echesa was arrested after attending an event graced by Deputy President William Ruto in Kakamega, while Malala was picked from a Kisumu hotel as he addressed journalists.
“I do not know why I was arrested because what was booked in the OB is different from what I am told I am being investigated for,” Malala said after his release, saying he had nothing to do with the violence.
“I have no reason to incite violence against people who voted for me. The last time I was in Matungu was on 18 December during my football tournament.
“I am on record for defending the people of Matungu in parliament when I asked that (Interior CS) Matiangi explains the security situation in Matungu.
“Malala and Echesa are well known bitter political rivals, who have never hidden their dislike for one another and have gone to untold extremes to score political points against each other.
At one point, the senator alleged how the former CS manipulated images to portray Malala as having been pictured in a hotel room naked with a woman.
Two journalists allegedly involved in the cyber crime were arrested but released after the senator withdrew the complaint, saying he would deal with the matter politically “because the journalists were just being used”.