From left: Peter Kiragu, Eva Wambui, Morrison Ndung’u, Kennedy Oduor and Dominic Sitati at the Kigumo Law Courts on July 1, 2019. Photo/NMG

Six suspects who were among 83 people arrested while participating in a reported marijuana party in a bar in Kenol town, Murang’a County have been detained for seven days to allow for further investigations.

The six include the owner of Lè Zeros Sports Bar and grill Mr Peter Kiragu, party organiser Eva Wambui, party MC Morrison Ndungu, DJs Kennedy Odour and Dominic Sitati, and weed peddler Dennis Maina.

Appearing in court Monday, Investigating Officer Haron Kamuren said they raided the bar following a tip-off from members of the public. He told the court they found the suspects with 81 rolls of bhang in the DJ’s desk wrapped in a bag.

Haron Kamuren added that the suspected peddler was arrested with 146 rolls of weed.

“The members of the WhatsApp group dubbed Rastafarian Prayer Party were chatting the way forward on how they could get [the] main supplier of bhang during the event. They were also planning on how to unlawfully administer oaths to recruits,” the police officer submitted.

The suspects’ lawyer, Kelvin Kinyua, told the court that it is the Rastafarian religion which is on trial. He said the suspects’ rights to religion were being violated.

“The police assaulted my clients during the arrest and took away the pub owner’s property including laptops and the CCTV cameras. They will be filing a complaint with the police,” the lawyer told the court.

Senior Resident Magistrate Agnetta Ogonda gave the detectives seven days to conclude investigations.

“Police have seven days to conclude investigations and I have given them a search warrant to look into the car belonging to one of the suspects. The matter will be mentioned on July 8,” she ruled.

The remaining 77 suspects were charged with being drunk and disorderly. Magistrate Ogonda released them and ordered them to work at the law courts for one day.

Following the arrest on Sunday, Murang’a South Sub-County Police Commander John Ondit said the suspects were permitting entry only to those who bought at least two rolls of bhang.

“Members of public assisted us in nabbing the suspects who had a party dubbed Rastafarian Party. For one to be allowed in the hotel, he had to buy at least two rolls of bhang; we have initiated a crackdown to arrest more after bhang uptake has risen in the area,” he told the Nation.