KITUI, KENYA: Police have been barred from arresting Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu over unspecified crime.
Kitui High Court Deputy Registrar, Rose Ombata, on Monday evening granted Ngilu a Sh50,000 anticipatory bail and directed she report to local police station on Tuesday to record a statement if required.
Ngilu was also granted an anticipatory bail pending arrest, investigations and or charges by the police Inspector General.
Ms Ombata further ordered the governor be escorted to the police by her lawyer.
“This court is pleased to restrain the police by an order of injunction from arresting, incarcerating and or interfering with the applicant’s freedom of movement pending the hearing and determinations of this application inter partes.”
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The Deputy Registrar said the order shall remain in force until Ngilu is ordered to appear in a court of law and or the file is closed.
Last week, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) summoned the governor on allegations she incited youths to burn Lorries transporting charcoal in the county.
The commission’s chairman Francis Ole Kaparo had ordered the governor to appear before his commission by Tuesday.
"Following the utterances by Ngilu in regards to charcoal burning, the commission has summoned the Governor in a letter dated February 14," Kaparo said via Twitter last Thursday.
However Ngilu has denied claims that she incited the public. She also denied that certain communities are being targeted in the protests against charcoal burning and the sand harvesting business in her county.
The governor remains unbowed despite mounting pressure from charcoal cartels to lift the ban. She says there has been a public outcry over the wanton destruction of environment.
“It is my duty as a leader to make decisive measures to protect our environment. The ban on charcoal and sand will stay and people must respect that,” she said.
Uncontrolled felling of trees for charcoal burning, she said, had led to adverse effects such as droughts in some parts of the county.
“People driven by greed for quick money have destroyed water catchment areas by cutting down trees. This has to stop,” she said.
The governor says the ban is expected to stop the traffic of nearly 200 heavy and light trucks that ferries charcoal daily from Kitui.