Eric Omondi secures release of desperate Mathare father arrested during protests

Victor Juma, who was detained in Mathare during tense protests about the expense of living, has now been released.

Juma was detained by a plainclothes police officer as he chastised the officers who had reportedly injured his child with tear gas.

After the comic bounced up and down and eventually fulfilled all the prerequisites for his release on July 21, Juma walked away to freedom.

“Victor Juma is finally free! Been a long day, but he is finally out! We are doing a fundraiser for him and his daughter, who was teargassed and needs medical attention from 8 pm on my Instagram and Facebook Live,” said Omondi.

“His number is 0708578101 you can start sending him cash, see you at 8pm,” he said on his Facebook page.

On July 20, Omondi went to see Juma while he was being held and comforted him. He also brought some food, and he made a vow to assist in securing his eventual release.

Victor Juma arrest

In a video shared by Africa Uncensored, the young man was aggrieved after the police targeted his daughter and lobbed teargas at innocent people who were not part of the mass action.

Aggrieved, the Mathare resident confronted the police, demanding answers but was taken in by an officer disguised as a journalist. The police dragged him into a nearby truck.

“Take him in,” other officers can be heard in the video that has since been shared by many journalists online.

The video of law enforcement in plain clothes blending in with journalists to pounce on unsuspecting protestors has attracted criticism, with many pointing out that it is putting the lives of reporters in danger.

The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has also condemned the cases of security officers camouflaging as journalists covering protests with the intention of arresting protestors.

MCK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Omwoyo has termed this as unprofessional misconduct by the officers.

“Impersonation of journalists by the police is a grave unprofessional misconduct on the part of the police and endangering the lives of journalists in the line of duty,” he remarked.

“While the Council appreciates the release of journalists who were earlier arrested while covering the protests, the detaining of journalists was unnecessary, arbitrary and ridiculous. The work of journalists is protected under Articles 33, 34 and 35 of the Constitution, a right that should be respected by all.”

Wednesday’s protests saw demonstrators contained in the city’s outskirts, with most residents staying away over fear.

Thursday, July 20, marks the second day of the protests and the opposition has vowed to push on until their demands are met.

Kisumu residents playing football during protests on Wednesday, July 12th

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