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Double sex inmate to skip hearings

Monday July 12 2010

Lawyer John Chigiti at a Nairobi court when he filed an application seeking orders to have medical reports about Richard Muasya tabled in court. PHOTO/ CORRESPONDENT

Lawyer John Chigiti at a Nairobi court when he filed an application seeking orders to have medical reports about Richard Muasya tabled in court. PHOTO/ CORRESPONDENT 

By JILLO KADIDA

A bisexual convict who has gone to court seeking the recognition of a third gender will not be allowed to attend the hearing of his case.

A three-judge bench on Monday declined to grant a plea by Richard Muasya, who is serving a life sentence at Kamiti Prison, to attend court sessions.

This means that Muasya will only get briefs from his lawyer on what transpires in court.

Dismissing his plea, justices Hannah Okwengu, George Dulu and Ruth Sitati said there is no need for Muasya to be brought from Kamiti.

“Petitioner is ably represented by a counsel, his presence is not necessary for just and fair determination of his case,” they said.

The ruling arose out of an application by his lawyer John Chigiti.

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Mr Chigiti asked the court to allow his client to attend court sessions for the purpose of just hearing regarding his sexuality.

In the case, Muasya, who was born with both male and female genital organs, but goes about as a man, says that the laws of the land discriminate against him and others like him.

The robbery convict says the law recognises only two sexes, male and female, which he believes is unfair and discriminatory.

Muasya also wants the court to order his release from Kamiti Maximum Prison, a male prison, citing sexual harassment and inhuman treatment.

He asked the court to set up a separate jail for bisexual inmates.

Floodgates

The Kenya Christian Lawyers Fellowship is asking the court not to grant Muasya’s wishes.

The group argues that should the court permit the introduction of an indeterminate ‘third gender’, it is likely to open floodgates for the teaching of doctrines of homosexuality and lesbianism.

On the other hand, a group which calls itself Gay Trust, is supporting Muasya’s arguments and urged the court to uphold his rights.