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CBK governor sued for defamation

NAIROBI, July 9 – One of the former Receiver Managers of the Grand Regency Hotel has sued the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Professor Njuguna Ndung’u for defamation.

Hezekiah Gichohi, who managed the hotel between June 2003 and April this year, jointly with a co-receiver manager Peter Ndaa, moved to court on Wednesday claiming that Professor Ndung’u published a defamatory statement in the local dailies on April 23 this year, which  portrayed him (Gichohi ) as having mismanaged the hotel.

He alleged that the Governor claimed that by the time the hotel was transferred to the CBK, it had made negligible profits; a statement Gichohi maintained was not true.

The former manager argued that CBK was not legally entitled to receive any money from the operations of the five-star hotel.

“During the plaintiff’s tenure between June, 2003, and April, 2008, the plaintiff and his joint receiver were not obligated by law to forward to CBK any profit of money accruing from the hotel,” the complaint read in part.

The Governor had in the statement allegedly accused Gichohi and Ndaa of failing to renovate and refurbish the hotel. Gichohi further faulted the statement for suggesting that he spent most of his time quarrelling with his co-receiver manager instead of professionally managing the hotel.

Last week, the manager had lodged another case seeking unpaid terminal dues, which he claimed had accrued to Sh34 million.

The High Court then stopped any interference with the hotel by any party, including the Libyan Company that had allegedly bought the hotel, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

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In a related incident, six activists who were arrested on Tuesday for staging a demonstration demanding the resignation of former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya, were Wednesday charged with participating in an unlawful assembly.

The six were arrested as they gathered at a Nairobi restaurant to begin a street protest to demand for Kimunya’s resignation. The arrests took place hours before the Kipipiri MP resigned as Minister.

Activists Okoiti Omutata and Ann Njogu were among those who were arraigned in court on Wednesday, and after denying the charges were each released on a cash bail of Sh10,000 pending the hearing of the case on August 18.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Kenya Women Lawyers (FIDA) Wednesday called for the arrest of the police officers who arrested the rights activists.

In a statement, FIDA Kenya Executive Director Jane Onyango claimed the police were brutal in their handling of the protestors.

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