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Court fines Sakaja Sh15,000 or face 3 months in jail after flouting COVID-19 rules

By Fay Ngina | July 21st 2020

The court has ordered Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja to pay a fine of Sh15,000 or face three months in jail for flouting COVID-19 rules over the weekend.

Chief Magistrate Roselyn Oganyo, on Tuesday, July 21, said that the maximum sentence for the offense is Sh20,000 or six months in prison.

However, since Senator Sakaja was a first offender, the magistrate ordered him to pay the Sh15,000 fine or face the jail sentence.

Magistrate Oganyo also directed the Senate House to confirm Sakaja’s resignation after he announced that he would step down as the chair of Senate Adhoc Committee on Covid-19.

“However, that pronouncement ought to be confirmed in writing from the Senate House, to be able to send a strong message to Kenyans that the leader has indeed stepped aside and not that he did the same as a public relations exercise to woo the court, “said the magistrate.

Speaking to the press in Kilimani yesterday, Sakaja stated that he would step down from the position with the aim of setting a good example.

Sakaja also said he took full responsibility for flouting the COVID-19 rules after being arrested drinking in a lounge past 9 pm.

"On flouting the rules, I was wrong, and I'm sorry. I will face the law like any other Kenya. However, what I found unfair was the harassment meted on my family from Saturday to Sunday. I'm not a fugitive, I was released on a cash bail and if they wanted me to appear, they should have summoned me.

"On Friday it was not official duty. I was not oversighting; I was not looking at what they were doing. I was on the wrong on that one. I agree and I am sorry," said Sakaja.

Sakaja, who had presented himself at the Kilimani Police Station on Monday to record a statement, condemned how police officers went to his residence to arrest him for the Saturday incident.

"I'm not a fugitive, why send 50 armed police officers to stake out waiting to arrest me and keep me in the cells for the weekend?" asked Sakaja.

The Nairobi Senator also denied threatening anyone during the arrest following a police report, which stated that he threatened to transfer the officers. <iframe width="730" height="500" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FjNnilgHe2A" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>

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Sakaja pleads guilty to breaching curfew rules, to pay Sh15,000 fine
Chief Magistrate ordered Sakaja to pay Sh15,000 fine or in default serve three months in prison after he pleaded guilty to the charges.
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