Kirinyaga Woman Representative Njeri Maina has threatened legal action against Governor Anne Waiguru over alleged false and libelous remarks.
Maina claims that Waiguru defamed her by implying that she was involved in vandalism of county property and was summoned by the police.
Waiguru had posted on her Facebook page on August 22, 2023, condemning an attack on Maina by some youth in Kirinyaga.
In her post, Waiguru said that Maina and Baragwi MCA David Mathenge were going to answer to police summons concerning the breakage of a county water project on Saturday.
“It has come to my attention through the media that Kirinyaga Woman Representative Njeri Maina was attacked by youth while going to answer to police summons, together with Baragwi MCA Mathenge, concerning the breakage of County Water Project on Saturday,” Waiguru wrote.
“I wish to condemn any acts of violence, and reiterate that, no matter the reason, we don’t condone or tolerate violence. I therefore urge the police to take immediate action against those involved,” she added.
Maina, through her lawyers OMK Advocates LLP, accused Waiguru of making libelous, malicious, and defamatory statements against her.
She said that Waiguru’s statement was a premeditated, methodical and malicious campaign to undermine her reputation and assassinate her character.
“Your publication was a premeditated, methodical and malicious campaign to undermine our client’s reputation and assassinate her character by making libelous, malicious, and defamatory statements calculated to impute that our client was involved in vandalism of county property and was summoned by the police to answer summons in respect thereof. In totality the grave consequence of the said defamation complained of is to cast our client’s otherwise good reputation into negative light,” Maina’s lawyers said in a demand letter.
Maina demanded that Waiguru issue an apology on or before close of business on August 30, 2023 as well as a commitment to clarify the incident with the people of Kirinyaga to mitigate the harm that has been done.
She also wanted the apology to be published on the same media platform where the alleged defamation was committed.
She warned that failure to do so would result in legal action against Waiguru.
“We have mandatory and unequivocal instructions to institute a suit against you with respect to defamation of our client. Our client reserves all her rights,” the demand letter said dated August 24, 2023.
Maina’s move comes after Waiguru had also demanded a public apology from Maina over what she termed as defamatory statements from her.
The controversy started when Maina took to her Facebook page on August 24, 2023, to make a troubling claim.
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In this post, Maina alleged that Waiguru was behind an attack on her.
“Governor Anne Waiguru, why do you not kill me? I know you’ve sent your goons Ksh. 30,000/= each to go to biding through your agent called kings….” she wrote.
Waiguru issued a stern warning of legal action should this apology not be delivered within seven days.
She called for the retraction of the defamatory statements, a cessation of further defamation, and a formal apology to be issued through the same medium used for the initial defamation.
Additionally, Maina was expected to publish an appropriate apology in a newspaper of nationwide circulation.
“Our instructions are that the said publication on your Facebook page is untrue, false, reckless and defamatory. The said publication is further malicious and is meant to tarnish the image of our Client and disparage her outstanding reputation,” Waiguru’s lawyers said in a demand letter.
According to Waiguru’s advocates, the words used in Maina’s post suggest various defamatory notions: that Waiguru is a murderer, that she has conspired to murder Maina, and that she has conspired with others to commit murder.
“We demand for you to immediately retract the defamatory statements complained of by our Client and published by yourself on your Facebook page,” the statement read further.