Babu Owino: I was denied food and water for three days

{Photo courtesy of Babu Owino – Instagram}


By Janet Wambua


“I was denied food and water for three days,” Babu Owino recounts of his three-day detention.


Embakasi East Member of Parliament Paul Ongili, alias Babu Owino, claims that he was denied access to food, water, and communication with his family and legal counsel while being held in solitary confinement for three days.

“I was arrested on Tuesday on the 18th of July at Jomo Kenyatta International airport, around 9pm,handcuffed blindfolded and thrown in a boot of a Subaru car, driven in the middle of nowhere and put in a solitary confinement for 3 days, I went without food no access to my family, no access to my lawyer, to my legal representation I did not take a bath, I did not take water.”

In a post on Instagram, he described being handcuffed and blindfolded, highlighting how cruel and inhumane it was for him to be handled that way as a member of Parliament. He also raised concerns about how ordinary Kenyans would be treated in such a situation.

“And that was a very in human treatment accorded to me. If a member of parliament can be treated in a very harsh way, what is happening to normal Kenyans. I want to take this opportunity to condemn such acts. The only mistake I made was to fight for Kenyans. And as a leader an elected member of Parliament, I’m a voice of the voiceless, I’m a messenger. You can kill the messenger, but you will never kill the message.”

The member of parliament declared that because he was the voice of the people of Kenya, he would keep fighting for their rights. Additionally, he stated that even if it meant risking his life, he would carry out his responsibility and keep fighting for those who were living in poverty.

“You can harass the messenger, but you will never destroy the message that is delivered. And if fighting for Kenyans is what will cost me my life, so be it. I’m an elected Member of Parliament whose role is to fight for Kenyans, to fight for the people who are suffering in poverty, it’s to ensure that I deliver the best to them.”

However, he mentions the difficult living conditions in Kenya and how life is intolerable, arguing that both the expense of living and the prices of most items, such as unga, must decrease.

“ As you can see there are very harsh conditions in this life. Life is unbearable, the cost of living must come down. The price of fuel must come down. The price of unga must come down. The price of other commodities must come down. A good leader is one who ensures that his people do not suffer. Subjecting people to these harsh conditions to suffering means that you’re fighting for a personal interest,” he declared.

In the same breath, he added and stressed that Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga, was not at all to be blame since he had not given orders for the police to use brute force. Furthermore, he asserted that since Raila Odinga was not in government, he cannot be held responsible for the skyrocketing prices of commodities.

“On a daily basis you blame Raila, to be the cause of the deaths of the people. Raila did not give instructions to the police to use brute force, stop using extra judicial means to gag people from fighting for their inherent and alienable interest not only spiritedly but also religiously. Never blame Raila on this because Raila is not in government. Raila did not take the price of unga to the ceiling. Raila has not raised the cost of living,” stated Babu Owino.

He added that people were lacking in many areas of life as a result of the high expense of living, thus the idea of constructing homes for them would be of little use. Instead, he claimed that food was the biggest problem facing the populace, and that President William Ruto should reduce the expense of living, failure which it will be compelled to come down.

“Because of the high cost of living, people lack a lot in life, you’re rushing to build for people house, people don’t need houses. People just need food; people need school fees and as a leader I know what it is to lack food. And that’s why we fight for them because I lacked food at some point. You’re rushing to build for people houses which is not the main challenge, but people’s main challenge is the food. Just let the cost of living come down. If it doesn’t come down, it must be forced to come down,” he said.


On Friday, July 21st, Babu Owino was released on a sh100,000 bond in connection with the anti-government protests.

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