Kenyans have taken to social media to react to news of the alleged arrest of National Super Alliance (Nasa) strategist David Ndii.
Dr Ndii, a global economist and popular Saturday Nation columnist, was allegedly arrested at Leopard Beach Hotel in Diani, where he was with his wife, on Sunday evening.
Police have denied Nasa claims that they are holding him at the Diani Police Station.
Dr Ndii is an ardent user of social media, particularly Twitter, with a legion of over 200,000 followers.
Known for his witty and sometimes humorous tweets, the economist has been one of the government’s harshest critics. That he was a likely target of the Jubilee government’s crackdown on dissent, was an open secret.
And as Nasa leaders on the ground followed up and demanded the reason for his alleged arrest, Kenyans took to social media to express their shock and disappointment.
Dr Ndii received an avalanche of support particularly from Kenyans on Twitter (KoT). Using the hashtag #FreeNdii, KoT called for the immediate release of the self-proclaimed ‘public intellectual’.
Even those who do not entirely agree with Dr Ndii condemned the government’s move to arrest the opposition leader. Activists, prominent lawyers, bloggers and average social media users sent out tweets in Dr Ndii’s, with the majority praising him for his apparent “courage” and “patriotism.”
For this reason, “David Ndii” immediately topped Twitter’s trending topics in Kenya, with over 20,000 tweets sent about the topic as at Monday morning.
One of the most popular tweet was posted by activist Boniface Mwangi who said; “David Ndii is a patriot. A patriot is a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.”
Lawyer Donald B. Kipkorir, in an equally popular tweet, said; “For many years, Prof Wangari Maathai kept being harassed; the World celebrated & gave her Nobel Prize; the highest global award … Kenya celebrated her only after she died … Now we are arresting Prof David Ndii, a highly respected global Economist … Kenya harasses its BEST!”
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