Yesterday’s approval of murder and assault charges against Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa is a dramatic escalation of misfortunes for the legislator already on trial for corruption.
Last evening, reports indicated that Jumwa was required to surrender to the High Court in Mombasa immediately following the approval of the charges.
Sources within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) told The Standard that investigators and prosecutors were ready to sustain a trial linking her and her aide, Geoffrey Otieno to the killing of a man in Kilifi County on October 15 last year.
When she was charged with graft on August 31, Jumwa told journalists that she was aware the prosecution had approved the murder charges in respect to the October violence during a ward by-election in Ganda where a man was shot dead.
Jumwa, a supporter of DP William Ruto, claimed then that the charges were politically orchestrated because of her opposition towards President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. “Mombasa Regional (ODPP) head Alloys Okemo has approved murder and assault charges against Malindi Aisha Jumwa and Geoffrey Okuto Otieno over fatal shooting of a man and injuring several people during October 2019 Ganda by election,” said a tweet from the office of the DPP yesterday.
Later yesterday, a senior official at the regional office confirmed that the indictments had been signed and the two would be charged at the High Court in Mombasa today or tomorrow.
Jumwa’s lawyers Jared Magolo and Gikandi Ngibuini, however, regretted that the ODPP failed to inform them of the indictments before sending out the tweet as is procedure.
The MP’s troubles with the criminal justice system began on October 15 last year when she allegedly invaded Reuben Katana’s home to stop a gathering for the latter who was the ODM candidate in a by-election.
Despite being an ODM legislator, Jumwa backed independent candidate Omar Mohamed Abdulrahman in the mini poll.
Katana won the race which was occasioned by the nullification of Omar’s election as MCA by the court.
The chain of events leading to the by-election fracas remains contested. Jumwa’s critics claim she invaded the home, accompanied by supporters and some policemen and attacked ODM delegates who were preparing for the contest.
Jumwa, however, claimed she only went to the home to protest an illegal electoral campaign by the ODM team but was attacked instead.
Police reported that shots were fired in the confrontation at the home which ended with 48-year-old Ngumbao Jola dead from a bullet wound.
Jumwa was arrested at her Kakuyuni home in the early hours of October 16 last year when police raided the home to question her aide Otieno.
The two were detained at Port Police Station in Mombasa up to the following day when they were brought to court where investigators expressed interest to charge them in relation with the chaos.
The two were later freed by Resident Magistrate Vincent Adet on a Sh1 million bond with a similar surety or the alternative of Sh500,000 cash bail.
The investigators then said they were “weighing evidence” to know whether they would charge the two with murder, incitement to violence, breach of the Election Offences Act or breach of the electoral code of conduct.