, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – A case in which lawyer Kethi Kilonzo is accused of stealing a voter’s registration slip has been adjourned to March 17 after her defence said it was not ready to proceed.
Kethi’s defence team led by Fred Ojiambo told Chief Magistrate Waweru Kiarie that they were not ready because the prosecution had failed to supply them with witness statements.
“My learned colleague Julie Soweto has written nine times to the DPP requesting that the statements be availed to us as per the order given by your sister (Doreen Mulekyo) on September 3 but they failed to adhere to the two-week deadline,” Ojiambo informed the court.
Ojiambo therefore asked the court to issue another two-week order within which the prosecution would be required to hand over all the 30 witness statements.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Jacob Ondari however objected to the adjournment plea arguing that Kethi’s defence had ample time to prepare their case.
“Her co-accused’s counsel collected the statements a month ago, the prosecution cannot therefore be held liable for their failure to collect the statements,” Ondari countered.
Kiarie was however inclined to grant the adjournment after Ondari admitted that there were indeed two witness statements that were yet to be handed over to the defence.
Kethi was charged in September alongside former IEBC official Godfrey Lempiso for the theft of a voter registration slip valued at Sh5.
The advocate also faces two additional charges for handling stolen property and for presenting a forged document to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Lempiso on the other hand faces the additional charge of the neglect of his official duty to keep the voter registration slip safe.
Both accused have denied the charges that were brought against them following investigations into how Kethi came into the possession of a voter registration slip despite not being a registered voter.
The High Court on July 19 found that Kethi was not a registered voter and ordered investigations into how she came into possession of a voter registration slip.
“The name of Ms Kilonzo was searched for in the principle register and in the green book but was not found. On the available evidence one can say that Ms Kilonzo is not a registered voter. Even the origin of the acknowledgment slip Ms Kilonzo had is in question,” a three judge bench found.
Kethi had moved to the High Court after the IEBC nominations dispute tribunal barred her from contesting the Makueni Senate seat on account of her questionable voter registration status.