Kilifi North Member of Parliament (MP) Owen Baya has sided with the police in the arrest of blogger Pauline Njoroge who was apprehended in his constituency.
Speaking during a panel interview on Citizen TV on Monday morning July 24, 2023, Baya weighed in on Njoroge's arrest while reacting to comments by Kathiani MP Robert Mbui.
Mbui said Azimio leaders and affiliates have been forced to hide following the spree of arbitrary arrests by the police.
"It's unfortunate that people have been arrested arbitrarily, including a blogger like Pauline Njoroge. Some MPs have been hiding because the police are looking for them. All this because this regime has branded demonstrations as illegal," Mbui, who is also the Deputy Leader Minority in the National Assembly, said.
Reacting to Mbui's comment, Kilifi North MP Owen Baya said Pauline needed to be put where criminals belong having been allegedly arrested for drug possession.
"I heard Robert Mbui take about bloggers being arrested. The lady in Watamu, which is my constituency actually, was arrested because of criminal activities, alleged criminal activities. And the police said they found her with drugs. That is not politics, that is criminal. And she needs to be put where criminals belong to," Baya, who is also Deputy Majority Leader in the National Assembly, said.
Arrest is political
Activist Boniface Mwangi on Sunday, July 23, 2023, insisted that Pauline Njoroge's arrest is political,
In a tweet, Mwangi dismissed the narcotics narrative and instead associated Njoroge's arrest with her vocal nature especially when criticizing the Kenya Kwanza government.
"When Mwai Kibaki was president, there was a man called Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers Association.
"He was a source of information for piracy activity in Somali waters. In 2008 he was the first to report that a hijacked ship Faina contained weaponry, including battle tanks meant for South Sudan, not for Kenya, as part of a secret arms deal.
"South Sudan was facing an arms embargo and Kibaki’s government was helping South Sudan skirt the sanctions. That story embarrassed the Kenyan Government. The government even paid a ransom to the pirates to release that ship.
"For blowing the whistle, Mwangura was arrested and detained in Mombasa for possession of bhang worth 200 shillings. The government planted drugs on him to discredit and silence him. Those fake charges silenced Mwangura for a while.
"Same play book has been used on Pauline Njoroge. Pauline’s arrest has nothing to do with any drug possession but her vocal criticism of Ruto’s government. @paulinenjoroge arrest is political. #FreePaulineNjoroge," Boniface Mwangi tweeted.
When Mwai Kibaki was president, there was a man called Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers Association.
He was a source of information for piracy activity in Somali waters. In 2008 he was the first to report that a hijacked ship Faina contained weaponry, including battle tanks… pic.twitter.com/gHrFPLAsQh— The People’s Watchman (@bonifacemwangi) July 23, 2023
Pauline Njoroge, who is also Jubilee Party Deputy Organising Secretary, was arrested on Saturday, July 22, 2023.
Njoroge, an ardent critic of the Kenya Kwanza administration, was arrested by officers drawn from the anti-narcotics drug unit in Watamu, Kilifi county.
The digital strategist who is being held at Watamu police station is alleged to have been arrested while in possession of narcotics which are believed to have been recovered inside her hotel room and a vehicle that was ferrying her and three other occupants.
According to a police report seen by K24 Digital, officers drawn from the Directorate of criminal investigations (DCI) had been trailing Njoroge and intercepted the motor vehicle reg number KCV 116 T a Toyota Hiace where they recovered four rolls of dry plants material suspected to be narcotic drugs.