Offices for the National Super Alliance (NASA) were raided, on Saturday Aug. 5, 2017, in Nairobi, Kenya, during the presidential campaign rally. The perpetrators identified themselves as police officers and were said to be heavily armed.
The man who was on guard duty that day recalled hearing a noise from the main gate and the people identifying themselves as police officers. The guard claimed the officers had three women among them and they all wore balaclavas. He stated, “I peeped through the hole and saw many cars, which terrified me. I ran back to the guardroom to alert my colleagues. The raiders jumped over the gate and broke the padlock, then opened the entrance for about 10 cars to get in.”
Nearly 30 people, armed with AK-47s and machine guns, raided the NASA offices. The staff was forcefully told to lie down facing the floor, while officers took several computers, phones, notebooks, even work identity cards. The offices were hosting operations for NASA and staff members were interns from universities outside Kenya.
Raiders demanded full cooperation from workers under penalty of death by shooting. The invading officers destroyed evidence while breaking and carrying away surveillance cameras.
The workers were informed that the equipment would not be returned after the raiders photographed identification documents. Information collected included full names, places of birth, universities attended, and home addresses.
Kenya Prime Minister and head of the National Super Alliance Raila Odinga was attending the campaign rally for the presidential election against incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta.
Police denied that a raid, of any kind, took place. The day after the invasion, Siaya Senator James Orengo identified five officers who took part in vandalizing the property. Orengo told those at the rally, “We are talking about the military being involved in elections and now we can see how this is being carried out. The recruitment of that elite force needed characters who are regime friendly – who are friendly to this particular government, and who come from particular ethnic groups.” Orengo also stated he saw them using a white van, with license plate KAV 855, to take away the equipment.
“Orengo said there has been attempts to persuade the officials to discard their engagement with NASA or report to, or simply be recruited to do the work for Jubilee.”
Statements were made about the event, commenting on possible motives behind the raid such as, “Jubilee regime is trying hard to intimidate the NASA brigade. Jubilee regime has put in place hurdles to curtail a free and fair election.” There are still many who believe the incident was faked.
Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Jeanette Smith
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Featured an Top Image Courtesy of SpaceUp Houston’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License