Kenya Assailed After Assaults on Opposition

From Associated Press

Criticism mounted against the government Friday after opposition figures and journalists reported being attacked by ruling party supporters and plainclothes police.

The attacks took place Thursday in Nakuru, a city about 85 miles northwest of Nairobi.

Renowned paleontologist Richard Leakey was whipped by several men and his car damaged outside the courthouse Thursday in full view of police officers, he said. Leakey is interim secretary general of Safina, an opposition political party awaiting registration.

Two other Safina officials, chairman Muturi Kigano, a lawyer, and founding member and lawyer Paul Muite, were beaten with wooden clubs and stones outside the local prison when they sought to visit one of Muite’s clients.


Several police were among the assailants, Muite said.

Francis Sang, Nakuru’s police chief, said the attackers were Kenyans angered by Safina officials’ attempt to publicize their party.

British Broadcasting Corp. reporter Louise Tunbridge suffered minor injuries when she was whipped and beaten with wooden clubs. Three Kenyan journalists were injured by the assailants.

Three leaders of opposition parties issued a joint statement condemning the attack, saying: “We hold President [Daniel Arap] Moi personally responsible for the untoward things being done to Kenya citizens by his agents.”