The man caught on video slapping an election observer during Ruguru Ward by-election in Nyeri on Wednesday has been arrested.
Mathira West police chief Kiptoo Birgen confirmed the arrest but said the suspect had been released on a Sh10,000 cash bail.
“We tried to contain the situation as much as we could. This morning, we arrested the suspect. He was able to post bail,” he said.
He said they are waiting for the victim, Ms Martha Miano, to submit a P3 report before charging the suspect on Wednesday.
Before his arrest, leaders in the county, led by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, condemned the incident and faulted the police for their slow response.
The woman was assaulted at Kiamariga Police Station as police officers watched but the attacker managed to leave the station without being arrested.
Mr Kahiga on Thursday morning said violence should not be tolerated in a democratic country.
“I condemn the incident in Kiamariga Police Station where a female election observer was roughed up by known people and demand that action be taken against the individuals caught on camera perpetrating violence,” said the county boss in a statement.
The suspect attacked Ms Martha allegedly after she raised concerns of voter bribery.
She was slapped and roughed up by man who wanted to eject her from the station on grounds that she was a campaigner for one of the candidates in the by-election.
Nyeri MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said incident was shameful and had tainted the county’s image, insisting that Jubilee Party abhors violence.
The lawmaker wondered why police officers at Kiamariga Police Station failed to arrest the suspect on the spot.
Mr Ngunjiri, who is also a member of the National Assembly’s Administration and National Security Committee, said MPs will investigate the laxity displayed by the officers.
“No one should be assaulted for political reasons. I will also be following up on why police officers from Kiamariga Police Station were apparently unable to immediately handle the perpetrator,” he said.
He also wants Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, who was at the station at the time of the assault, and Mr Erastus Kariuki, who clinched the seat, to publicly condemn the violence.
He added “…it seems to have been carried out on his (Mr Gachagua’s) behalf and by a person allegedly associated to him.”