Mwakwere’s day in court moved to Wednesday

August 9, 2012 8:35 am
On Wednesday, Mwakwere failed to block the criminal charges in an application he filed before the High Court/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – The Environment Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere is now likely to face hate speech charges next Wednesday.

The minister was expected in court on Thursday but failed to appear since he was not served with summons.

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions informed the court that they were yet to serve the minister with summons to appear in court and face the hate speech charges.

On Wednesday, Mwakwere failed to block the criminal charges in an application he filed before the High Court.

The Matuga legislator is expected to plead to hate speech charges after he lost a bid restrain police from arresting and charging him until an appeal he has filed to challenge the decision by High Court to have him prosecuted is determined.

High Court judge Florence Muchemi declined to block the police apprehending and arraigning the Cabinet minister in court saying his application lacked merit.

The hearing of Mwakwere’s application challenging his arrest and prosecution is also due in court on Wednesday.

The drastic move by the politician came barely a day after summons were issued by a Nairobi Court requiring him to appear before it following an application by the police.

In his suit papers, Mwakwere says that the imminent arrest shall cause him to vacate his ministerial position yet his appeal shall not have been heard and determined.

“My rights shall be grossly violated by facing charges of expressing myself about the injustices suffered by the people at the coast and which injustices have been acknowledged,” he states

He argues that under the Constitution, he has a right of appeal and intends to exercise that right to access justice because he stands to be severely prejudiced.

Two weeks ago the DPP Keriako Tobiko ordered the arrest and prosecution of Mwakwere after the High Court threw out his petition seeking to block NCIC) from charging him over hate speech.

The minister is alleged to have made hate remarks, during a by-election campaign in his constituency in July 2010, saying that indigenous coastal people have been oppressed by the Arabs.

Tobiko gave his consent and directed the police to charge the Matuga MP saying there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Mwakwere had contended that sections 13, 14 and 62 of the NCIC Act are a breach to his constitutional rights and ought to be declared unconstitutional.

If charged, Mwakwere is expected to relinquish his ministerial post until the charges are heard and determined.

Mwakwere has maintained that he is innocent as was airing his views on the historical injustices suffered by his people, which is a constitutional right guaranteed to him under Article 27 of the Constitution.


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