Laikipia North MP denies incitement charges, released on Sh100,000 cash bail

Hon Mathew Lempurkel (Photo: Courtesy)

Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel was released on Monday from police custody after four days behind bars over claims of hate speech.

Mr Lempurkel was charged before a Kibera court, but did not plead to charges of racial contempt and inciting the Samburu to violence against European ranchers after the prosecution asked for more time to get instructions from Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.

Kibera Chief Magistrate Joyce Gandani declined the prosecution's request to detain the legislator to enable it to conclude investigations and released him on a cash bail of Sh100,000.

The magistrate said the prosecution had enough time to consult with its office and that there was no justification to continue holding the lawmaker as that would be against his rights.

In the first count, Mr Lempurkel was accused of inciting racial hatred against European ranchers in Laikipia North by claiming that they would be evicted if he was re-elected.

Mr Lempurkel was arrested on Saturday at Nanyuki Police Station when he went to report alleged threats to his life.

According to the MP, he was detained in four different police stations in various counties - Nyeri, Nanyuki, Laikipia, and Murang'a.

The case will be mentioned on July 28, when the MP will be expected to plead to the charges.

This was not the first time the controversial legislator was being charged in court. He is facing similar charges before the Nanyuki Chief Magistrate's Court.

Prolonged drought

He was charged in March with inciting his constituents to invade private ranches at the height of the prolonged drought that saw pastoralists lose their livestock.

In November last year, he was charged at the Milimani Law Courtc with assaulting and causing bodily harm to nominated MP Sarah Lekorere at the Office of the President.

Lempurkel is alleged to have slapped Ms Lekorere on the left cheek and kicked her in the lower abdomen when a delegation from the county sought audience with then Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery over insecurity.