Three MPs and a former Cabinet secretary (CS) have lost a bid to strike out a defamation case filed against them by Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli.
They face the defamation charges for allegedly linking Mr Atwoli and other Cotu officials to the death of Kabete MP George Muchai in March 2015.
The four accused are former Labour CS Kazungu Kambi and MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Francis Waititu (Gatanga) and Alice Wahome (Thika Town).
On Tuesday, High Court Judge Roselyn Aburilili declined to strike out the case against them, saying “they approached the court wrongly and unprocedurally”.
Justice Aburilili directed Mr Kambi and the lawmakers to follow the right procedure and file properly their application to stop their full trial.
She directed the four respondents to file a proper application at the Courts Civil Registry and have new trial dates fixed.
In their application, the four are seeking orders to strike out the case against them, arguing it was vague, general in nature and does not “sufficiently disclose the defamation alluded to”.
Mr Kambi, through lawyer Philip Nyachoti, said that the exact words and or statements he allegedly uttered concerning Mr Atwoli and others were not set out in their case.
The plaintiffs — Mr Atwoli, Mr Rajab Mwondi, Rebecca Nyathogora, Francis Wangara, Joseph Nyabiya and Washington Adongo Odod — have named Mr Kambi and the MPs as the respondents.
Mr Atwoli, through lawyer Samuel Adunda, is asking the court to order the respondents to pay the plaintiffs damages for the alleged slur. Until his death, Mr Muchai was Cotu’s deputy secretary-general.
“The suit as outlined is incompetent, misconceived, misplaced, vexatious and therefore an abuse of the process of the court and should be dismissed,” Mr Nyachoti.
Mr Adunda has vehemently opposed the dismissal, saying “there is no demonstration by the respondents how the suit was vexatious and an abuse of the court process”.
He is asking the court not to exercise its power in a draconian manner by dismissing the case on a technicality. He urges the court to allow the case to proceed to its logical conclusion.
Justice Aburilili upheld Mr Atwoli’s objection and directed the parties to have the case allocated a new date by the registry.
The respondents allegedly uttered the defamatory words during Mr Muchai's funeral at his home in Kamulu, Machakos County.