Senator Muthama charged with incitement to violence

Johnston Muthama
Johnston Muthama

Embattled Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and his political activist counterpart Japheth Muroko have been charged with hate speech and incitement to violence.

Muthama and Muroki, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo at the Milimani Law Court, were accused of making inciting statements during a Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) rally last month at Uhuru Park that was organized to support the teachers’ demand for a pay rise.

However, the two denied the charges and were released on a Ksh 100,000 cash bail or an alternative of Ksh 300,000 surety bond.

Muthama’s case, according to the Magistrate, is under the Penal Code. The case will be mentioned on February 16th, 2016.

When taking plea, Muthama was accompanied by ten lawyers, among them Senior Counsel George Khaminwa, Senator James Orengo and Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior.

The ruling came just minutes after the High Court declined to stop the arrest and prosecution of the Machakos Senator after he agreed to take plea.

High Court Judge Joseph Onguto, however, referred Muthama’s case to Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga to constitute a bench to hear the matter.

Justice Onguto noted that Muthamas’s petition challenging his prosecution raised weighty issues.

Muthama, together with activist Muroko, moved to the High Court last week after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko recommended they be charged with incitement to violence in regards to their utterances at Uhuru Park during a political rally.

In his application, Muthama said the action to arrest and prosecute him was punitive and discriminatory.

Through his lawyers, Muthama contested his prosecution stating that the recommendation was politically influenced contrary to the constitution.

In the case, the two are said to have made utterances and allegations that are considered inflammatory and contrary to Section 96(A) of the Penal Code during a Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) rally.

In his remarks, that have been described as indelicate, Muthama questioned government’s willingness to deal with graft in government especially in the case of the National Youth Service graft issue.

Muthama, who was also accused alleging that CS Waiguru and President Uhuru Kenyatta were involved in an intimate affair, defied calls from the different factions to apologize saying that he made remarks that could be verified.

It is alleged that Senator Muthama uttered words that are disrespectful to President Kenyatta, CS Waiguru and propagated hate speech.

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Maureen Murimi
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