DPP halts decision to charge Helicopter Ministries preacher for using abusive language

Helicopter of Christ Ministries lead preacher Bishop Thomas Wahome. [File, Standard]
The Office Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has put on hold its decision to charge Televangelist Thomas Wahome for allegedly insulting a senior government administrator.

Through Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Peter Mailanyi, the ODPP requested for two weeks to conduct more investigations.

"We need adequate time to respond to issues raised by the cleric in a petition filed at the High court challenging the intended prosecution by a lower court in Othaya," the official explained.

While appearing before Nyeri Deputy Registrar Ruth Kefa yesterday, Mailanyi noted he had instructed a State prosecutor to stop pursuing the summons issued to the Wahome.

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The summons required the pastor to appear at a magistrate court in Othaya to answer to the charge of using abusive language to Nyeri South Deputy County Commissioner Henry Ochako.

“I have given directions to the prosecutor not to pursue the summons but to have the matter mentioned," said Mailanyi.

The criminal case he observed was pending before Othaya court and is coming up for mention on September 19.

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He said the pastor had raised substantive issues in the petition and therefore said he would peruse the file and respond within two weeks.

Pastor Wahome through lawyer Douglas Ombongi did not oppose the DPP’s move explaining that it was agreeable to have the case in Othaya held in abeyance.

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In the petition, Wahome said the intended prosecution is aimed at coercing him into dropping another case against a village chief charged with stealing his two dogs worth Sh300,000.

The chief, Paul Wageni is under a criminal trial over accusations of stealing the two exotic dogs (Terrier breed) on an unknown date in December 2016, at Kihuri Village in Othaya.

" Ochako lodged a criminal case number 543 of 2019 against me where I was to be charged with using abusive language in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace. He informed me that if I fail to withdraw a complaint against the chief I will suffer the consequences," the cleric said in his affidavit.

While insisting that intended prosecution is meant to intimidate him, Wahome claims in his documents that the DCC and the village administrators had violated and breached his rights by subjecting him to unfair trial arising from framed up charges.

“The petitioner’s freedom of movement has been restrained as he is apprehensive of being harassed or killed by gangs,” lawyer Ombongi stated.

Ombongi also claims his client’s family has also been denied access to services at the local offices of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National government because of the criminal case.

“The chief and the DCC have failed to carry out their duties in accordance with the law thus violating the rights and freedoms of the petitioner,” the lawyer said.

Wahome now wants the High Court to issue an order restraining the two administrators from harassing, threatening and interfering his property, dignity and business.

 He also wants the court to declare that the action of the two administrators were oppressive, excess use of their powers and a violation of his client’s human rights fundamental freedoms and an abuse of the legal process.

He further seeks a directive stopping the administrators from interfering with the pending criminal case facing the village chief.

The application will be heard on October 1, 2019.

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ODPPPeter MailanyiThomas Wahome