Jumwa to know fate today after spending night in cell

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa Katana (right) and Geoffrey Okuto Otieno at a Mombasa court on October 16, 2019. The prosecution is seeking orders from the court to detain the two suspects for 21 days pending investigations on allegations of murder and creating a disturbance. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa yesterday spent a night in Mombasa police cells after she was arrested at her Kakuyuni home in Malindi.

Jumwa was arrested on Tuesday night after a 48-year-old man was shot in the chest and killed. Police yesterday announced that the MP and her aide Geoffrey Okuto Otieno were under investigation for the murder of Ngumbao Jola at the homestead of Reuben Mwambire Katana, the ODM candidate for the Ganda ward by-election.

She is also under investigation for other crimes, including incitement to violence, assault, electoral offenses and breach of Elections Code of Conduct, according to a police report that also alleges the MP was planning to disrupt today’s by-election using a gang of supporters from Takaungu in Kilifi County.

Ruling today

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“I am unable to deliver a ruling today because I do not want to work out of official time, which ends at 5pm, and that is why I will deliver my ruling tomorrow,” said Senior Resident Magistrate Adet Okello in a brief statement at around 5.20pm yesterday.

Police broke into Jumwa’s home early yesterday to arrest Okuto after several attempts to enter were rejected. They arrested him inside the MP’s house and recovered a Ceska pistol, 11 bullets, a magazine and holster, according to police records that also indicated that a car the two were driving in during the violence was also impounded.

Jumwa, who sat calm in the dock besides Okuto, as the magistrate pronounced himself, cupped her chin with her hands, and spoke briefly to Jared Magolo, one of her lawyers. She was then led to the underground police cells and driven to Port Police Station. Lawyer Gikandi Ngibuni is also defending the MP.

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Earlier in the afternoon Jumwa’s four lawyers and State counsels argued over prosecution's application to detain her for 21 days to enable police to complete investigation. State lawyer Alloys Kemo described Jumwa as a confrontational and violent person who should be restrained and kept away from today’s elections.

“The first respondent is confrontational and makes inciting statements in public meetings, and unless detained, is likely to lead a flare-up of violence within Malindi Constituency,” said Kemo, as he pitched for the MP’s detention.

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Kemo told court the State had received evidence that Okuto fired shots and killed the Ngumbao in the Tuesday’s fracas at Katana’s home.

According to an affidavit sworn by Chief Inspector of police Joseph Wambua Jumwa, Okuto and others stormed Katana’s home in a vehicle convoy, which sparked violence between supporters of ODM and the MP's. Jumwa, who is estranged from ODM, supports independent candidate Abdulrahman Omar against ODM’s Katana.

Police blamed

Police said locals were baying for the MP's blood following Tuesday’s violence and killing. She was arrested when armed police officers gained entry into her home at around 2am and took her and her three aides, one being the bodyguard, to Port police station in Mombasa.

She was hauled before court even as Kilifi leaders, including Governor Amason Kingi, held a Press conference blaming the MP and local police for the violence.

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The leaders demanded the arrest of at least two Malindi police bosses, accusing them of failing to prevent the violence that led to the killing of the civilian.

Mr Kingi, accompanied by four MPs and some local police officers, said the two should not be allowed to preside over today’s election.

Also present at the Press conference was Kilifi North MP Owen Baya, Magarini legislator Michael Kingi, Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire, Woman Rep Getrude Mbeyu and County Assembly Majority Leader Sammy Ndago, as well as Kilifi North police boss Njoroge Ngigi.

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Aisha JumwaKakuyuniReuben Mwambire KatanaGanda ward by-electionNgumbao Jola