‘Hustlers’ who were paid to heckle Raila at Burma market charged

By Sheila Mutua On Fri, 22 Jan, 2021 14:58 | < 1 min read
hecklers Burma Raila
The four youths who were charged with causing disturbance while allegedly demanding payment for heckling Raila Odinga during his Burma market visit on January 13, 2021. PHOTO | SHEILA MUTUA

Four youths who were arrested after they stormed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party offices ostensibly to demand payment for heckling opposition leader, Raila Odinga, have been charged with creating a disturbance.

The four were accused of being part of a group of at least 150 youths that was paid or promised payment to disrupt a visit by Orange Democratic Movement leader, Raila, to Burma market in Nairobi last week on January 13.

Raila’s speech at the market was disrupted by the scores of rowdy youth who were chanting “Ruto” and “Wheelbarrow.”

The four, namely Erick Arimba, Dennis Nzeki, Simon Kamau and Steve Gumbo, on Thursday, January 21, appeared before Kibera Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Mwaniki where they were charged.

The crime is said to have occurred on Thursday, January 14, at UDA’s office in Lavington, Dagorettin Sub County, where they had gone to demand payment for the work done.

In court, the prosecution alleged that they committed the crimes with others not before the court.

They allegedly pelted the UDA building with stones and attempted to pull down the gate by pushing and ramming into it.

Police officers from the Muthangari post responded to the chaos and found the youths, numbering about 150, shouting “pesa yetu” [our money].

They were demanding Sh2,000 and a wheelbarrow from UDA officials but police quickly dispersed them, managing to arrest only four in the ensuing melee.

After pleading not guilty to the crimes, the magistrate released the four on a cash bail of Sh10,000 or Sh150,000 bond each.

The case will be mentioned on February 9.

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