NAIROBI, September 16 – Former Internal Security Minister Chris Murungaru has finally served John Githongo with court summons in a defamation case.
The former Governance and Ethics Permanent Secretary received the court papers on Tuesday morning at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) where he was attending an economic conference.
“Ask your client to stop saying that I have been avoiding this (to be served) because that is not true,” said Githongo, after signing documents to confirm that he had been served.
The service came barely a fortnight after Dr Murungaru asked the High Court to allow him to issue the summons through the British media.
Dr Murungaru wants Mr Githongo to defend himself in a defamation case in which the former Kieni MP is seeking redress for being linked to the multi-billion shilling Anglo Leasing scandal.
He had argued that the former PS – who is a Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College in Oxford – has deliberately evaded service.
The former minister claims that Mr Githongo published a report depicting him as corrupt and lacking integrity and honesty.
In the suit papers, he argues that Mr Githongo recently hurriedly left the country after returning from a three-year exile, after a court official attempted to serve him with summons.
“The attempts were made at PCS plaza on August 20 and at Strathmore University on August 22 as well as a residence in Karen where the defendant’s mother allegedly resides and where the defendant was reasonably believed to be present at some stage of his stay in Kenya,” Dr Murungaru had stated in the court papers.
Mr Githongo had all the time denied evading the said service and had infact described the contents of a statement issued by Dr Murungaru as ‘palpable nonsense’.
The former Permanent Secretary stated: “It has been suggested that I have refused to be served summons by a former minister. This is palpable nonsense. My lawyers have been instructed to act in my absence, and are both able and ready to receive any legal requests. So far, none has been forthcoming.”
Dr Murungaru had sent a statement to newsrooms claiming that Mr Githongo was evading service, following a defamation suit he had filed against the former Ethics and Governance PS in 2006.