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Five MPs clash with youths over release of blogger in Kabogo case

By Willis Oketch and Joackim Bwana | Published Wed, January 27th 2016 at 00:00, Updated January 27th 2016 at 08:25 GMT +3

The case of a blogger accused of defaming Kiambu Governor William Kabogo took a new twist yesterday after youths confronted five MPs outside Mombasa Law Courts, accusing them of aiding the release of the blogger.

Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Nicholus Njagi dismissed all the three charges levelled against Anthony Njoroge Mburu and set him free, saying police lacked evidence to charge him of any wrong doing.

The prosecution also admitted there was no evidence that could lead to conviction of the blogger and sought to withdraw the charges.

Blogger Anthony Njoroge Mburu (right) celebrates with Kiambu MPs, from left Ferdinard Waititu (Kabete) and Kimani Ichung'wa (Kikuyu) outside the Mombasa Law Courts yesterday after his case was dismissed due to lack of evidence. (PHOTO: KELVIN KARANI/ STANDARD)

The MPs from Kiambu: Ferdinand Waititu, Alice Nganga, Kimani Ichung’wa, Paul Koinange and Jude Njomo, attended the proceedings in support of the blogger. The move angered the youths - alleged supporters of Mr Kabogo.

The legislators accused the governor of using youths to silence criticism and young politicians aspiring to contest for political seats in the county.

“The blogger is a whistle blower of people who were importing low-quality eggs and destroying the poultry market in Kiambu and should not be victimised. We will take all measures possible to stop that,” said Mr Waititu.

The youths donning t-shirts with the message ‘responsible blogging’ confronted the legislators and stopped them from addressing the Press.

Ms Nganga said they came to give the blogger moral support and ensure that justice prevailed, claiming “Kabogo is intimidating youths and politicians who are opposed to his ideas”.

Meanwhile, four Opposition MPs yesterday cautioned the Government against continuing with a crackdown on bloggers deemed critical of the State.

The MPs warned that the continued harassment of the bloggers is taking the country back to the old days of repression and intolerance for free speech.

Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Fred Outa (Nyando), Dennita Ghati (Migori) and James Nyikal (Seme) said the Government is hell bent on intimidating and locking up Kenyans perceived to be leaning towards the Opposition as the country approaches the 2017 elections.

“The brazen determination by the Government to intimidate, harass, arrest and humiliate non-conformist bloggers and other social media users is against the law and the Constitution, which the President and all leaders swore to protect,” the MPs said.