How I was abducted and tortured over demos – Joshua Okayo - Breaking Kenya News


How I was abducted and tortured over demos – Joshua Okayo


KSL Student Governing Council president Joshua Okayo 

Kenya School of Law’s Student Governing Council president Joshua Okayo has narrated how he was abducted and tortured during the anti-Finance Bill protests in Nairobi.

He was abducted for at least 72 hours by unknown people.

According to Okayo, he was abducted as he went to greet people he thought were students at the KSL.

Prior to the abduction, he had received three calls asking him to leave wherever he was and go into hiding because ‘some people’ were looking for him.

“I received three calls and even shared the three numbers with my friends before I left. One of the callers asked where I was and said I should leave immediately because there were people looking for me. I received a second and third call and thought it must be serious.

“About 500 metres away from my residence, I heard someone call my name, ‘Okayo, come say hi to your KSL people and I assumed they were people who knew me. As I turned to go greet them, I got arrested. They were three people, middle aged. They bundled me into a car that was waiting there with a driver and drove off,” an emotional Okayo narrated.

He was then handcuffed and his head covered with a black sack cloth.

After driving for about 30 minutes, Okayo said they then started asking questions about why they were protesting, what the motivation behind the protests was and who was organising the protests.

Questions, Okayo, who spoke to NTV says he did not have answers to.

“I didn’t have answers. No one was printing t-shirts for us, no one was giving us money, and no one was giving us fare. We know no one. We just turned out as concerned Kenyans.”

The abductors, according to Okayo also sought information on who was feeding them details on claims that it is the International Monetary Fund that drafted the Finance Bill, 2024, but his response was that it is all information in the public.

After two hours, he was taken to a room where they locked him inside and left without saying anything.

“This is when it felt real that abductions are actually happening,” he said.

When the abductors returned, Okayo says they started hitting his ankles with metal, while asking the same questions they had been asking him.

They kept going and coming back every two hours.

“All this time I was still handcuffed, I was hungry and thirsty but they refused to give me water because I was not giving them answers,” he said.

The student leader said that when they came for the final time, they walked him to a car and drove for about two hours, while they tortured him by strangulation, hitting his chest, ankles and legs.

They then threw him out of the car and he rolled.

“I couldn’t move, I didn’t have any strength I just lay down where I had rolled to. I regained consciousness when I heard someone waking me up.

“I woke up to a whole village around me, speaking in Kikuyu. I could not answer anything of their questions, I was weak, the only word I said was Nairobi,” an overwhelmed Okayo said as he broke down.

He said when they returned his phone, they had uninstalled WhatsApp and withdrawn money in his MPesa.

Okayo said since the ordeal, he still struggles sleeping and has become very conscious of his surroundings.

“I keep fighting in my sleep, sometimes I shout in my sleep.”

Okayo is one of the over 35 people allegedly abducted during the protests.

On Tuesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki vowed to have all police officers or citizens allegedly involved in the illegal abductions investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Kindiki said the government will not entertain any violations of constitutionally guaranteed rights.

He reiterated the government's duty to respect and ensure the protection of constitutional rights to all.

"Independent Constitutional and statutory agencies will investigate and prosecute any person or official who may be implicated with violating the Constitution by perpetrating confinement of any person outside the law," Kindiki said.

He said all persons within the territory of Kenya are protected from unlawful arrests, abductions and enforced disappearances.


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