Boniface Mwangi faces two months in prison or pay Sh300,000 fine

Activist Boniface Mwangi during an interview with KTN. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Human rights activist Boniface Mwangi has been fined Sh300,000 after the High Court found him guilty of contempt of court in a defamation case that was filed by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua.

Mwangi was sentenced to two months in prison by Justice Francis Rayola of the Machakos High Court, with an option of paying a fine of Sh300,000 to secure his freedom.

"I have been found guilty of contempt of court. Sentenced to two months in prison or pay a fine of Sh300,000. The gag order was extended to January 2024," Mwangi posted on X.
His lawyers led by Martha Karua, have however vowed to appeal the sentence in court.

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Mwangi's wife Hellen Njeri, and, Haki Afrika Director Hussein Khalid were also present during the sentencing.

The court had found the activist guilty of disobeying orders that had compelled him to retract all statements he had posted on his social media pages about Mutua (then Machakos Governor) and also apologise.

"As much as the defendant is entitled to his opinion, he must obey the same instructions once he has submitted himself to this court, Unfortunately, the defendant does not accept the contempt and states that he does not need to apologise," Justuce Rayola ruled.

The sentencing follows a successful suit filed by lawyer Harrison Kinjayui and advocates, on behalf of Mutua who had moved to court to have the activist show cause why he should not be held for contempt of court for having expressly breached and acted in violation of a court order.

On October 21, 2021, Mwangi took to X stating, "I'm a resident of Machakos County. An hour ago, thugs bombed my house, sank the foundation, and robbed my workers," he claimed while tagging Mutua.

"I can't go there now for safety reasons. I know it's Mutua because he is a molester and an abusive man. He won't silence me," he added.

In the October 2021 incident, Mwangi claimed that aggressors who had invaded his incomplete house were armed with rifles and "bombs" during a night raid.