Kimilili Member of Parliament Didmus Barasa has been granted Sh10m bond and a surety of Sh5m in a murder case against him.
Barasa is accused of shooting and killing Brian Odinga Olunga on August 9, 2022. The deceased (Olunga) was the driver of Brian Khaemba who was also vying for the Kimilili parliamentary seat.
Kakamega High Court judge Patrick Otieno on Wednesday directed the lawmaker to surrender his firearms and passport, and stay away from Bungoma County. “The accused has considerable influence in Bungoma County, where the crime allegedly happened,” said the judge.
Justice Otieno also warned Barasa against commenting publicly on the case. The judge said the identities of all prosecution witnesses will be protected.
Pleaded not guilty
Barasa on Wednesday, August 24 denied murder charge pressed against him. The prosecution accused him of shooting and killing Olunga, the driver of his rival Brian Khaemba of the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K).
Barasa had earlier Wednesday asked for “lenient” bond terms, saying being an MP, he needed to discharge his duties without inconveniencing the Kimilili constituents.
He allegedly committed the offence at Chebukwabi Village in Kimilili Constituency.
State lawyers Peter Kiprop and Grace Mukangu asked the court to grant Barasa “tough” bond terms to ensure he doesn’t interfere with witnesses or skip court sessions.
The prosecution asked the court to bar Barasa from setting foot in Bungoma County until all the 23 witnesses have testified.
Not a flight risk
The suspect’s lawyer, Nathan Tororei, said withdrawal of Barasa’s guns would endanger his life, given he is a high profile member of the society.
Tororei said Barasa was not a flight risk because he personally surrendered himself to police after a warrant of arrest was issued against him.
Olunga, the victim, was buried at his Malava home in Kakamega County on Saturday, August 20. His mother, Lonah Odinga, asked police, the prosecution and the courts to expedite the case.
Olunga succumbed after a single gunshot was fired in his head, killing him on the spot.
Barasa defended his Kimilili parliamentary seat in the August 9, 2022 General Election after getting 26,861 votes against DAP-K candidate Brian Khaemba’s 9,497 votes.