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Tuesday March 10, 2020 - Victims of the infamous kamata kamata Friday have breathed a sigh of relief after High Court Judge, George Odunga, slammed DPP Noordin Haji and DCI George Kinoti over the illegal arrests.

Justice Odunga, in Agnes Ngenesi Kinyua’s case otherwise known as Agnes Kinywa v Director of Public Prosecution & another [2019], sided with the victims of these arrests expressing his belief that they should not take place.

"The practice that is ominously gaining ground in this country otherwise infamously known as “kamata kamata Friday arrests” whereby suspects are deliberately arrested on Fridays and kept in police custody over the weekend must not be permitted to take root," provided the Judge.

In justifying his stance, Judge Odunga ruled that the practice chipped away the democratic gains that the country had made since the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

The practice, he said, will take the country back to the dark ages where people were arrested on a whim without sufficient justification.

"It [the practice of kamata Fridays] would in effect take the country back to the dark days when suspects faced frivolous capital charges aimed at unlawfully incarcerating them with a view to achieving extraneous objectives, thereby unjustifiably denying them of their liberty.”

“The attempt to claw back at non-existent powers ought to be restricted at all costs by the courts which are the temples of justice in this country," stated the judge.

Kamata Fridays, as the practice is popularly known refers to Friday night arrests by the police. 

The practice is dreaded because those netted face a weekend in a crowded prison cell before they can be brought before a court on Monday morning.


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