Court detains eight politicians in hate speech probe - Daily Nation

Eight MPs to spend four days in cells over hate speech

Tuesday June 14 2016

Kimani Ngunjiri, Moses Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu, Timothy Bosire, Junet Mohammed, and Johnstone Muthama when they appeared before Milimani court on June 14, 2016 after they were arrested over alleged hate speech and incitement to violence. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kimani Ngunjiri, Moses Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu, Timothy Bosire, Junet Mohammed, and Johnstone Muthama when they appeared before Milimani court on June 14, 2016 after they were arrested over alleged hate speech and incitement to violence. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VINCENT AGOYA
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Eight politicians from the Jubilee and Cord coalitions arrested over alleged hate speech and incitement to violence have been detained for four days pending investigations.

They will be detained at Kilimani, Gigiri, Pangani, Kileleshwa, Muthangari and Muthaiga police stations untill Friday after a court upheld an affidavit sworn by the case investigating officer Sergeant Gilbert Kitalia who had sought the extended custodial order.

"Pre-trial detention may be necessary to preserve public order, it is alleged that information held against the subjects which are intention to cause death, eviction of certain communities from the metropolitan city of Nakuru and storming the Inspector-General's office are serious and destructive to a nations fabric,'' chief magistrate Daniel Ogembo said.

He said one shudders at the imagination of the intended consequences of the claims.

The court ruled that the rights of the politicians are outweighed by public interest and national security in this case.

The court had been compelled to detain the politicians to rein in rising political temperatures in the country.

The prosecution said the country is on the precipice of election-related violence and some leaders have intensified incitement.

"The court should take judicial notice that as we approach elections next year incidences of hate speech, intolerance and outright incitement to violence are on the rise," Dr Leonard Maingi said.

He said the political class on several occasion have "poured scorn" on the criminal justice system and that it was high time the court sent a message and set a record on the advent of hate speech related cases.

Members of Parliament Moses Kuria (Gatundu) Ferdinand Waititu (Kabete) Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Kimani Ngunjiri (Nakuru East), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua and her Mombasa counterpart Aisha Jumwa were taken to court on Tuesday over remarks they made concerning the "assassination" of former Prime Minister and Cord leader Raila Odinga.

Starehe MP Maina Kamanda found himself on the receiving end when he attempted to enter the parked courtroom thronged by Cord supporters, only to be forcibly ejected out of the courtroom.

Mr Kuria also provoked the crowd when he held Mr Waititu and Mr Ngunjiri's arms and raised them in a victory salute. They were booed before Mr Odinga asked the crowd to be calm.

FORENSIC ANALYSIS

"There are compelling reason for the respondents to continue being held in police custody pending conclusion of investigations.

Platoons of anti-riot police were deployed both in and outside the court precincts.

"Investigations will entail carrying out forensic analysis of footage evidencing offensive speech and the recording of further statements with the view to preferring appropriate charges," the prosecutor said.

However, Siaya Senator James Orengo, who was representing the Cord MPs, dismissed the application stating there was no likelihood that the subjects would interfere with investigations.

He said the nature of the application does not disclose any offences committed by the Cord legislators.

He further said the Cord MPs voluntarily appeared before the police and were not arrested as alleged.

For Jubilee, Mr Francis Munyororo said bail is a constitutional right that cannot be denied on basis of apprehensions. He said the subjects are willing to report to respective police stations for interrogation.

The prosecution said Mr Kuria on June 13 made remarks alluding to the physical injury and death of Raila Odinga at Kasarani Gymnasium.
Mr Waititu, the prosecutor said, also alluded that it was desirable to kill the Cord leader.

The prosecution further said that Mr Junet, Mr Muthama, Mr Bosire, Ms Mutua and Ms Jumwa at a press conference on June 13 at Capitol Hill in Nairobi uttered words to the effect that they would create chaos and forcibly storm the IG's office if "certain people" were not arrested.

The prosecution wanted four days to hold the politicians for in-depth investigations into the alleged utterances.

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