ODM Communications Director Etale released on cash bail


Etale
ODM Director of Communications Philip Etale (right) and CORD leader Raila Odinga. [Photo/

ODM Director of Communications Philip Etale has been released on a cash bail of Ksh 30,000 as police continue with investigations into allegations of election malpractices levelled against him.

The Kilifi Court also gave police five days to finish investigations into the allegations and present their findings during the hearing of the case slated for March 16th, 2016.

Etale was arrested Monday morning at a hotel in Kilifi over allegations of electoral malpractices, just hours before the commencement of voting processes.

According to Malindi OCPD Mutava Muchangi, Etale had been buying voting cards and Identification cards for the past one week to give ODM an edge in the Parliamentary by-election held Monday.

Police are reported to have recovered phones and some electronic materials during the arrest.

Etale’s arrest has elicited wide condemnation from CORD hierarchy with coalition leader Raila Odinga terming it a plot by Jubilee government to intimidate its supporters.

In a statement released Monday morning, Raila claimed that the government had resorted to influence the outcome of the elections through blackmail and arm-twisting of the opposition calling on coalition legislators to be vigil during the electioneering process.

He further directed Siaya Senator James Orengo and his Machakos counterpart Johnstone Muthama to take up Etale’s case and ensure his release.

“We wish to put on notice those government officers behind this campaign of harassment and intimidation being meted out on ODM supporters and officials. There will be a time for each of them to carry their crosses and answer for their crimes.”

“For now, the best revenge is for our people to go out and cast the vote, protect the vote and defeat the evil regime. Let us not be diverted. Leaders must singly focus on this task.”

The Malindi by-election has been marred by cases of malpractices with Jubilee legislators Peter Gitau of Mwea and Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete) being arrested over allegations of voter bribery.

Waititu was later released on free bond as police continue with investigations into the allegations.

The by-election has been tipped as a show of might between Jubilee and ODM, which commands a huge following in the Coast region.

Despite seven names being on the ballot paper, the major contest in Malindi is between Philip Charo of Jubilee and William Mtengo of ODM.

The seat was declared vacant after area MP Dan Kazungu of ODM was appointed Mining Cabinet Secretary in December last year by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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