MP Salasya granted Sh20,000 police bail over threats to magistrate

Mumias East Mp Peter Salasya during an interview with Standard at his rural home at Kisumu Ndogo in Mumias East. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Police have granted Mumias East MP Peter Kalerwa Salasya Sh20,000 cash bail after interrogating him about claims of issuing death threats to a judicial officer. 

Kakamega Resident Magistrate Gladys Kiama Nashipai filed the complaint of threat to her life last week prompting the police to summon Salasya to record a statement on the matter.

Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officers said the MP will be arraigned in court after they share the statement with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP). 

Deputy DCIO Lucy Wamutiro who interrogated the MP on the alleged threats to the magistrate said he was cooperative. 

"We did not encounter any difficulties in extracting the information we wanted from him. We equally recorded the statement from the magistrate and will be moving the case to the prosecutor for appropriate charges," she said. 

The move comes even after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) promised to partner with the detectives to ensure that Nashipai got justice. 

The magistrate who delivered a judgment against Salasya on November 27 at the Small Claims Court (SCC) said she was threatened by the MP soon after the ruling. 

Police said the first-time lawmaker allegedly called and sent threatening text messages to the magistrate at about 1 pm on the same day before posting what would form “good fodder for defamatory material” on his (Salasya’s) Facebook page at 9pm. 

In her judgment, Nashipai among other things, ordered Salasya to pay his debtor, Robert Lutta, Sh500,000 he had been loaned.  

The release of the MP on police bail comes a month after he was reported at the same station by lawyer Edwin Wafula for assault. The lawyer also represented Lutta in the SCC case. 

Wafula said in his report (OB No. 02/11/2023) that the lawmaker and two of his aides (including a policeman) took the law into their own hands and assaulted him at a hotel in Kakamega on November 2.  

“It was not until other revelers and the hotel’s management intervened that the MP and his aides fled,” said Wafula.  

Wafula has subsequently sued the MP in a civil case. 

In the case filed at the Kakamega Law Courts on November 3, Wafula seeks general and punitive damages over ‘degrading’ words aimed at injuring his reputation. 

“The plaintiff (Wafula) avers that on November 2, 2023, at around 6 pm, he went to an establishment within Kakamega Town, Vovo, in the company of friends to have coffee when Salasya confronted him and verbally started hurling insults at him in Swahili,” reads his court papers filed by lawyer Derek Mango.  

The lawyer, who also wants Salasya to pay for the cost of the case, said the MP continued with the insults prompting the restaurant’s management to politely order him out for breaching the prevailing peace.   

Wafula says around 7.30 pm on November 2, he, alongside his friends, decided to relocate to another restaurant, Vault, within Kakamega town but the MP again followed him and made defamatory marks Swahili insults.  

The lawyer says in his affidavit that he was so disturbed by the implications of the words that tainted his reputation and had no option but to sue the MP who is yet to file a defence after being served with court papers.