Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has been directed to provide video evidence of Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa linking him to drug trafficking.
The MP, through his lawyer, said he would wait to be provided with the video clip before responding to the case filed against him. Mr Joho told the court that the statements portrayed him as a man conning the public and lacking integrity.
“The assertions by the MP were also calculated to imply that I acquired wealth fraudulently through criminal undertakings and should be shunned locally and globally,” the Mombasa County boss told the court.
He added that the statements insinuated that he is a drug trafficker responsible for the deaths of many young people.
Mr Ichung’wa told the court that the press release was not malicious or directed towards the governor but was made as a matter of public interest.
“The nature of the information of the subject matter was of public concern. The matter is being investigated by the government,” the lawmaker said.
Mr Ichung’wa dismissed Governor Joho’s claims that what he said damaged the latter’s reputation.
“The press release was not malicious or directed at Mr Joho as claimed,” the MP said.
“It could not have thus discredited him, injured of lowered his self-esteem.”
The suit filed by the Mombasa governor adds to the growing list of politicians who have taken fellow leaders to court for making unprintable statements about them.
In 2016 for example, former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru (now Kirinyaga governor) turned her guns on two opposition senators — Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) and Johnson Muthama (Machakos) — accusing them of portraying her as a thief and a person who closely worked with President Uhuru Kenyatta to steal public funds.
In her court papers, Ms Waiguru said the two uttered words implying the President gave her more than Sh25 billion while teachers in public schools were going without money.
She said Dr Khalwale and Mr Muthama made the statements during a Coalition for Reforms and Democracy rally at Uhuru Park in September 2015.
The case filed by Governor Joho will be mentioned on August 1.