, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu has failed to block his imminent arrest after the High Court declined to grant him anticipatory bail.
High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi instead directed the legislator to appear before Nairobi Principal Magistrate Paul Biwott on Thursday to face charges of incitement to violence.
Justice Ngugi said: “Individual liberty is important and must not be tampered with but the law must also be obeyed. The applicant (Waititu) will not stand trial before the police or the Director of Public Prosecutions.”
He is accused of saying: “Tunasema hiyo Wamaasai wote hatuwataki hapa Kayole” (We are saying today that we do not want Maasais in Kayole). “Wamaasai wote ni lazima waondoke, ni watanzania na hawana vitambulisho” (All Maasais must leave; they are from Tanzania and without identification cards).
The prosecution says the words were calculated to bring violence to the Maasai community working in Kayole.”
The High Court directive came moments after Biwott issued a warrant for the arrest of the assistant minister who is accused of inciting communities living in Nairobi’s sprawling Kayole estate.
Waititu had moved to the High Court saying that he was being condemned unheard and wanted the court to block his arrest.
He also alleged that his position as an assistant minister was in jeopardy as powerful individuals from one community were pushing for his arrest. He further wanted the court to determine an apparent conflict in the Constitution relating to freedom of speech and hate speech.
Counsel Lillian Obuo acting for the DPP had argued that Waititu should be arrested and charged as he had been evading arrest when he knew that he was being sought. She termed the legislator as a ‘serial law breaker’ who was quick to breach the law and quick to run to court to stop his prosecution.
She said that Waititu had similar charges pending before court after he obtained orders blocking the prosecution from proceeding with legal action against him.
Waititu who was represented by lawyer Evans Ondieki argued that he would face prejudice if he is subjected to a process without being heard.