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Witnesses decline to testify in Kuria case

By Faith Karanja and Kennedy Gachuhi | January 22nd 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300


Eight witnesses are not willing to testify in a case where Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria (pictured) is charged with hate speech, a court heard.

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, the court was informed that the witnesses had indicated that they were not ready to give evidence.

Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot was informed that three of the eight witnesses had written letters indicating they were not ready to testify yet their evidence is crucial to the case.

“We are seeking orders from the court to compel the witnesses to come and give evidence,” said prosecutor Kennedy Panyako.

“We plead with the court to disallow the prosecution to introduce new witnesses at this stage,” said lawyer Geoffrey Omenke representing Mr Kuria.

Incitement charges

On August 2, 2019 a different Milimani court dismissed incitement charges against Kuria, saying the MP had no case to answer.

The charges stated that on September 5, 2017, at Wangige market in Kiambu County, Kuria used abusive words that were intended to cause physical injury to a person.

In his ruling, Cheryuiot said the state evidential video clip was sourced from social media and no evidence was used in the mainstream media.

It was the third time Kuria was being acquitted of the same offence.

In November 25, 2015, Kuria was charged at the Nairobi court for uttering words which indicated it was desirable to bring death and physical injury to persons in Kenya.

The MP is said to have committed the offence on June 26, 2015 at Gatundu Stadium in Gatundu town within Kiambu County.

In July last year, the MP was charged afresh with incitement. He denied the charges.

The ruling on whether to allow the application by the prosecution will be delivered on Friday this week.

Meanwhile, Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri is the latest lawmaker to lose his security detail and firearm in the ongoing purge on politicians facing charges.

Mr Ngunjiri, who clarified that he does not have any pending corruption n or criminal case, delivered his Remington 700 rifle, a pistol and bullets at the Rift Valley Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Regional headquarters escorted by his long-serving bodyguard.

This comes days after Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai issued a directive that all governors, MPs and any other leaders with state security who are facing criminal prosecution – graft related or otherwise – will have to seek alternative security and do without firearms.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot hate speech
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