Mutahi Ngunyi charged over controversial Twitter posts

Mutahi Ngunyi

Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi was today arraigned at the Milimani Courts over controversial Twitter posts made last month.

In the case presided over by Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo, Mutahi Ngunyi was charged with four counts of ethnic contempt.

Ngunyi denied the charges and was freed on a Sh200,000 cash bail or a bond of Sh500,000. The case will be heard on October 26, 2015.

The hate speech claims have haunted Ngunyi for weeks now after the Twitter posts that were deemed to amount to hate speech.

In one of the posts, Ngunyi stated that: “The LUO NATION is spell bound by RAILA. Period. That is why they call him BABA like NYAYO. In fact the only BABA after NYAYO. Mental SLAVERY.”

Ngunyi2 Ngunyi1 Ngunyi

The posts sparked fury within the Luo community with LSK CEO Apollo Mboya calling for his prosecution.

In a letter to the National Cohesion and Reconciliation Commission (NCIC), Mboya stated that Ngunyi’s posts on social media are intended on inciting the public against a certain community.

“My attention has been drawn to the contents of the twitter account of one Mutahi Ngunyi, together with comments thereto which has been brought to my attention by concerned members of the public,” read the statement in part.

“In particular, the posts target members of a specific community as lacking individuality and in a state of mental slavery, assertions that are not only false but may very well constitute hate speeches directed at specific members of a community for which I am a member.”

Ngunyi later ruled out apologising to the ODM leader Raila Odinga but expressed remorse to the Luo community over the remarks.

The tweet stated: “I apologize to the LUO NATION unreservedly. No harm INTENDED. I am a product of Luo SCHOLARS whom I RESPECT immensely. I eat the HUMBLE PIE (sic).”

The Luo Council of Elders rejected the offer of a goat from Ngunyi as a token of his apology to the community over his remarks.

The council chairman Opiyo Otondi faulted Ngunyi for spewing hate against the community saying that he would not receive the token on behalf of the community as it was belittling.

The community elder added that the goat could bring a bad omen to the community and threatened to chase away anyone who attempted to deliver the goat saying the gesture was insignificant.

The ‘peace offering’ was however accepted by Apollo Mboya, apparently on behalf of the community.

The gesture was not taken lightly by some members of the community with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero allegedly calling him a ‘stupid boy’ for accepting a goat.

Last week, Ngunyi lost a bid to block the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko from charging him for alleged ethnic contempt.

In his application heard by Justice Joseph Onguto, Ngunyi argued that no investigations were carried-out and that he had not recorded any statements over the incident.

On Friday, the court summoned by a Milimani court to appear before it on Monday to respond to allegations of hate speech charges levelled against him.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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