Famed gospel singer Eko Dydday’s wife Sylvia Dydda has accused the police of arresting the artist and putting him under COVID-19 quarantine after an alleged attempt to fleece a bribe from him went wrong. Speaking to Sema Ukweli Kenya founder and activist Boniface Mwangi, Sylvia claimed that the singer was initially arrested for missing the 7pm curfew on April 18 along Ngong Road, Nairobi and was taken to Kilimani Police Station.
According to the mother of two who has been having difficulties walking since January 2020, her husband went to the Nairobi CBD to get her high blood pressure medication but his car got a tyre puncture on his way back home.
“I have high blood pressure and a high heart pulse that has led to facial palsy and other complications that have affected my mobility. I am not able to walk properly.
“He went to a pharmacy near our neighbourhood, in the late afternoon, but he couldn’t find the medication. He then decided to drive to Nairobi CBD where he found and bought the medication. On his way home, he got a puncture at around 6:30pm and by the time he had fixed it, it was about 6:50pm. He continued with the journey home and on reaching Ngong Road, near Coptic Hospital, he found a police road block at around 7:10pm. He was stopped and arrested,” she said.
On the morning of April 19, Sylvia visited the police station and the officer manning the Occurrence Book (OB) reportedly told her to pay Sh10,000 bail for Eko Dydda’s release pending his appearance at the Milimani Law Courts the next day.
“I think I asked too many questions, as l pleaded his case, because they eventually told me to get out of the Police Station and only return when I had the money. I went outside for a bit and then went back in to ask if I could pay via m-pesa. The officer replied, “toka hapa, enda leta cash” (Get out and go come with cash). I was secretly recording our conversation,” she further revealed.
Sylvia further claimed that she withdrew sh10,000 from M-Pesa and handed it to the officer before demanding for a receipt for the payment, conversations she secretly recorded . “Enda nje” the police officer said before chasing her out of his office.
According to her, she did not know that the police officers had realised she was secretly recording them.
An hour later, Eko Dydda was released in the morning and the receipt handed to her. While the singer went to get the car, Sylvia claimed to have overheard a police officer saying they could make the singer disappear.
“Hii mama imetu record hajui tuna weza poteza hii mutu yake,” the officer allegedly said.
Along the way and after arriving at home, the couple received numerous calls from Kilimani Police Station urging the singer to report back to the station.
The couple reported back at the station at around noon after a caller who identified herself as a police woman said someone who had been with singer in the cells had died and he was needed to record a statement.
“While on the call, we overheard someone say, “Hii mtu pekee ndio umepea receipt, hii ni shida” (You issued a receipt to one person, this is problematic), said Sylvia.
The officer who handed Eko Dydda bail refunded money, reportedly saying that the OCS had cancelled the bail.
“The OCS came and ordered his officers to take Eko to “that place.” I didn’t know where “that place” was but, later in the day, Eko called and informed me that he had been taken to the quarantine centre at KMTC. He told me there were about 200 people there. He was given a blanket and a bed. Up until now, no tests have been taken and he was told the tests would be done on the day they were supposed to get discharged,” she claimed.
“If you share the video, we will come, arrest you with your children and take you to quarantine,” she was allegedly threatened.
“When we arrived, we were told this is prison, it’s not quarantine and we are prisoners,” the singer told Boniface Mwangi who visited him at KMTC Mbagathi.
“They (those quarantined) are bitter, because no tests were taken and they feel they might get infected with the coronavirus. The quarantine is like a dormitory but with individual cubicles, we are sharing toilets and bathrooms. Most of the people here are from the ghetto, those who couldn’t afford to bribe police, and l don’t think they will afford to pay the quarantine charges. It seems the government is trying to justify spending the Coronavirus budget on forced quarantines,” he said.