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Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi in court over ODM nominations violence

By Joackim Bwana | Published Tue, September 5th 2017 at 16:26, Updated September 5th 2017 at 17:03 GMT +3
Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi (Photo: Courtesy)

Changamwe Member of Parliament MP Omar Mwinyi was Tuesday charged with ten counts of interfering with election materials, obstructing election officers and using violence during Orange Democratic Movement nomination party primaries.

Mwinyi is accused that on April 22, 2017 at Mwidani Social Hall, Bomu primary and Al-Inshadi nursery school polling station in Changamwe sub-county, Mombasa County, jointly with others not before court, he destroyed ODM nomination ballot boxes.
He is also accused of, on the same date with others not before the court, obstructing Ambrose Nguti, Mzee Khatibu and Joseph Mbaka Gechuki from executing his lawful duties.
He is also accused of using violence to inflict harm against Athumani Mohamed who was an ODM agent for Ali Ngoshi.
He faces another count of inflicting harm on police officer Agapio Ndwiga who was providing security at the nominations.

Before chief magistrate Erick Makori, Mwinyi denied all the charges and was released on Sh400,000 bond.
On April 4 2107 Mwinyi was arraigned in court to face ten charges under the new election law with ten counts of causing violence and interfering with party primaries.

He was released later after the magistrate court ruled that prosecution ought to deliberate if it should prosecute the legislature or let the party dispute mechanism address the issue.

The lawyers told court that the dispute was an internal party issue and there were rightful party mechanism to address the matter.

Magolo opposed prosecution’s application to charge Mwinyi with new charges under the criminal penal code and insisted that the charges before court were an internal party issue that was set to be addressed by the party tribunal.

Mwinyi moved to court in April to challenge the court’s decision to charge him with criminal offence and said the matter was being determined by the party dispute tribunal.

On Tuesday Senior public prosecutor Jami Yenina opposed the release of the MP on free bond and applied to release him on a substantial bond.
"The MP should be released on a substantial bond to compel him to attend court since he is on police bond," said Yenina.
However, lawyer Jared Magolo said that the MP should be released on a free bond since he is not at flight risk.
"The MP is a known figure who has a huge mandate to the people of his constituency. He can be let off on a free bond and he will still show up in court," said Magolo.
Mwinyi has been summoned to appear before the Orange Democratic Movement ODM tribunal disciplinary committee in Nairobi in regard to the chaos he caused on the nomination day.
On April 3 2017 Magolo and Mike Oloo told Chief Magistrate Evans Makori that the  MP was set to travel to Nairobi to face the party tribunal to answer to charges of interfering with election materials, obstructing election officers and using violence during party primaries.

"The accused has been summoned to Nairobi before the party tribunal to hear the matter hence he needs to prepare himself," said Magolo.

Makori insisted that the matter was first of its kind and was based on public interest and warned the DPP against taking advantage of the Criminal Penal Code.

"I am not defending anyone or the MP. This is among the first cases we are handling under primaries and it is based on public interest and DPP should take lead deliberate whether to proceed under the CPC or newly enacted election act," said Makori.

Senior assistant DPP Alexander Muteti said the court had been gazetted to handle election matters and had authority and jurisdiction to deal with election violence.

Muteti said there were many violence cases during the country wide primaries and the DPP had to prosecute the perpetrators regardless of whom they were.
"It would be a failure as DPP as people continue killing each other. A man was killed in Homabay with several injured during the primaries but the perpetrators are still walking free. We don't want any politician to hide behind the election act,”  he said.

The case is scheduled for December.


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