, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Cabinet Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere got reprieve on Tuesday when hate speech charges against him were dropped after the complainant withdrew the case.
The Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) told Nairobi Chief Magistrate Lucy Nyambura that they wanted the charges dismissed after Mwakwere made a public apology.
“The decision by the courts will be a good example to many Kenyans so that they know that whenever people have a dispute they can speak and agree,” the minister said soon after the charges were annulled.
This latest development came after month-long negotiations mediated by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia.
On Saturday, Mwakwere signed a conciliatory agreement with Muhuri and issued a public apology over his remarks.
“On deep reflection, I humbly tender my most sincere apology to all Kenyans for the remarks I made on July 1, 2010 and during the campaigns for the by-elections as Member of Parliament for Matuga. In particular, I apologise to the people of Coast region for these remarks,” the minister said.
The Director of Public Prosecutions did not oppose Muhuri’s application to withdraw the case.
“On deep reflection, I humbly tender my most sincere apology to all Kenyans for the remarks I made on July 1, 2010 and during the campaigns for the by-elections as Member of Parliament for Matuga” – Mwakwere.
The Matuga MP is alleged to have said during a by-election campaign in his constituency two years ago that indigenous coastal people have been oppressed by Arabs.
“After lengthy meetings and deliberations with NCIC, Muhuri and other distinguished leaders from the Coast region, today I have signed a conciliation agreement whose effect is to apologise and reconcile communities in the coast region and by extension all Kenyans,” he said.
Since last year, the minister has failed to appear before the Nairobi Chief Magistrate’s court to answer to the charges as he sought to block the case by moving to the High Court.
The minister would have lost his ministerial position if he appeared in court to face the criminal charge.