Shelter Afrique wants arrest order against boss lifted

July 24, 2012 11:05 am
According to the organization, the government relied on a one-sided account of the incident and there was need for further investigations to establish the truth of the matter/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – Shelter Afrique now wants the Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw the directive ordering the arrest and prosecution of Managing Director Alassane Ba over alleged assault.

According to the organization, the government relied on a one-sided account of the incident and there was need for further investigations to establish the truth of the matter.

In a protest letter sent by Shelter Afrique to Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi, the organization says that it has not been involved on the exploration of the facts of the matter that led to the action on arrest and prosecution advised by Keriako Tobiko.

“Although you (Mwangi) confirmed that your ministry is consulting with the governing body of Shelter Afrique, we have not received any official communication from you. Reports appearing in the media contain demonstrable incorrect facts and sequence of events,” the letter says in part.

“We look forward to your assurance that the matter will be handled in a proper and legal manner and that Ba will not be subjected to an adverse process. In this connection, we request that the letter by the DPP be withdrawn to pave way for investigations,” the letter further says.

The organization wants its Board of Directors – which will meet the duo on Wednesday and Thursday – be left to evaluate the dispute.

Ba is accused of assaulting the Finance Director – Karen Njeri Kandie – at the organizations’ headquarters in Upper Hill, on June 28.

According to the organization, the allegation of assault is unsubstantiated and has been denied by Ba and people who were present during the alleged altercation.

The organization says that the alleged assault is believed to have happened following Ba’s request that the Finance Director surrenders a device which she was using to record the MD during a performance review process.

“We understand that Kandie continued with her normal duties and staff meeting after the meeting where she was allegedly assaulted. In our view it is vital that true facts are determined before any conclusions are made. It is our hope that precipitate action will not be taken on the basis of media reports,” says the letter signed by Company Secretary Ruth Onyancha.

According to Shelter Afrique, Ba holds a diplomatic passport issued by the Mauritanian Government and enjoys immunity being an employee of the African Development Bank and further as provided for in the Host Country agreement signed between the Government and Shelter Afrique.

Last Friday, Tobiko ordered for Ba’s arrest and prosecution three days after the Foreign Affairs Ministry had advised that he did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

“I direct that the suspect be apprehended immediately and arraigned before court to answer to assault charges,” said Tobiko in a letter to Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere.

A separate letter has also been written to the Director of Public Prosecutions by lawyers acting for the Mauritanian executive also accusing the government of exposing Ba to unfair administrative action.

According to Iseme, Kamau and Maema advocates, Ba was arrested on July 9, detained for 30 minutes at the Capitol Hill Police Station and later released without an explanation and without recording a statement, an action that breached the immunities he enjoys in law.

“He was not even told of any or the complaint against him that necessitated his arrest. This conduct by the police is in flagrant breach of our clients rights,” the lawyers said further seeking that the DPP withdraws his directive.


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