NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17- Former Galole Member of Parliament Dhadho Godhana has sued the government for defamation over his alleged involvement in the deadly Tana Delta clashes.
Godhana said on Sunday that the government should compensate him for wrongfully accusing him of being behind the spate of violence in Tana River that has left more than 150 people since August 2012.
“We are looking to be paid something in the excess of Sh150 million plus legal fees. During this time I was forced to spend all my resources towards self defence in court, so that amount will be fair,” he said.
During the clashes people were shot, hacked and burnt to death as the Pokomo and Orma tribes fought one another in a deadly dispute over Orma-owned cattle grazing on land the Pokomo say is theirs.
Godhana, whose constituency is located in the Tana Delta where the violence erupted, had accused a political rival, Defence Minister Yusuf Haji, of whipping up the unrest.
Godhana was in January exonerated from the bloodletting in Tana River County. He was on trial for allegedly uttering words during a local TV talk show, which the prosecution deemed to be incitement.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Godhana said he lost his parliamentary seat in the March 4 polls because of the charges against him.
“While I was in court people were saying Godhana is not running for the parliamentary seat; he is going to jail. This is a lifetime loss and to regain it will take a lot of effort which is not easy,” Godhana stated.
He also challenged the government to come clean over the killings that have characterised the region.
He said the government was shifting blame to him but now that he was free so many questions remained unanswered.
Settled Pokomo farmers and semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists have clashed intermittently for years over access to grazing, farmland and water in the coastal region.
An influx of weapons in past years has upped the stakes.
Had his case been proved, he would have been jailed for five years.