Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru was last Friday arrested shortly after attending a function attended by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i in Nanyuki town.
The vocal legislator was arrested for allegedly inciting operators of the banned Probox and Sienta vehicles, popularly used for public transportation locally to demonstrate over police harassment.
Waruguru was arrested by two police women in the company of other police officers who whisked her into a police vehicle and took her to Nanyuki Police Station.
Police officers had positioned themselves outside the hotel and arrested the legislator shortly after Matiang’i briefed journalists on what they had discussed with local leaders.
Earlier in the day, Waruguru and her two employees had been detained at another restaurant in Nanyuki where the operators held a daylong meeting as CS Matiang’i met government officials and administrators over insecurity in Laikipia County.
Officers from Nanyuki police station led by Officer Commanding Station (OCS) Ali Abdi got wind of her engagement with the transport operators and swiftly rushed to the venue in Nanyuki town and blocked her vehicle from leaving the hotel prompting a heated exchange of words between the MP and officers.
She was, however, released from Vineyard Hotel an hour later and joined other leaders who were with the Interior CS.
Before the police officers allowed the vehicle to leave the hotel, she told journalists that she had been invited by the vehicle operators who claimed that they were being harassed by police in Nanyuki.
“I have come to listen to the issues raised by these operators due to the recently introduced regulations in the transport sector and then police are blocking my vehicle from leaving,” said the furious Waruguru.
She however, tried to seek the intervention of Laikipia county commissioner Onesmus Kyatha but he snubbed her leaving her at the mercy of the police officers.
Waruguru has been pushing to have the operators allowed to operate within Nanyuki town despite the National Transport Service Authority’s (NTSA) banning the vehicles from operating as public service vehicles.
During his visit Dr. Matiang’i said the meeting with Laikipia elected leaders and leaders in transport sector agreed on how the Probox and Sienta vehicles will be operating as PSVs.
Matiangi while addressing a peace meeting between elders drawn from Marsabit, Isiolo and Samburu counties said the government will not condone leaders inciting residents to violence.
Before her arrest, the MP was seen trying to get audience with the CS but she was unsuccessful.
She was arrested moments later after Matiang’i left the venue.
By Martin Munyi