, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – The High Court has restrained Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi and three Jubilee legislators from making defamatory statements linking COTU officials to the murder of Kabete Member of Parliament George Muchai.
This was after the leaders publicly stated that six COTU officials should be arrested over the incident, during Muchai’s burial last week.
Justice Alfred Mabeya on Monday barred Kambi and legislators Moses Kuria, Alice Ng’ang’a, and Francis Waititu from making comments on the issue pending determination of a defamation case by the six COTU officials.
The late Muchai was shot dead alongside his two bodyguards and driver during an ambush on Kenyatta Avenue a week ago.
This was after COTU (K) led by Secretary General Francis Atwoli and five other officials sued the public officers for linking them to the murder of the late Kabete Member Parliament.
Under a certificate of urgency, the COTU officials accused Kambi, MPs Kuria, Ng’ang’a and Waititu of making “the wild allegations without an iota of evidence.”
Atwoli, Rajab Mwondi, Rebecca Nyathogora, Francis Wangara, joseph Nyabiya and Washington Adongo say they have taken legal action against them for making the allegations yet they had not recorded any statements with relevant authorities.
According to the COTU officials, the MPs were only focused on creating a sensation during the funeral of Muchai last Friday for purposes of benefiting politically and without regard to their character, and reputation.
Atwoli claims in court papers that the statements made were “false, wrongful, malicious and have exposed them to danger as the matter is very sensitive to the general public.”
“The false, wrongful and malicious words and statements have exposed my personal, professional standing and character to contempt and embarrassment.”
Atwoli contends that the statements have caused him to suffer enormous loss and damage as the same was broadcast to the public, family, clients, friends and professional colleagues who hold him in high esteem.
Through their advocate, the officials urged the High Court to restrain the political leaders or any other person from issuing the defamatory statements as they have put their lives at security risk since the matter is sensitive and emotive.
“Unless the orders sought are granted the defendants either by themselves, servants or agents shall continue defaming me to my detriment together with my colleagues and COTU (K) as an institution and damage our character beyond repair,” Atwoli said.
Atwoli is further aggrieved that by statements claiming that he has misappropriated union funds.
Kambi has since been directed to record a statement with police by his counterpart, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.
“It is very unfair for somebody’s name to be mentioned in a murder case if there is no concrete evidence,” Nkaissery stated. “I would wish if that Kambi is aware of the killers of the four individuals, we invite him and demand he writes a statement to give us the evidence he has.”
Kambi who spoke at the funeral threatened to resign if police failed to arrest and prosecute the people who plotted Muchai’s murder, saying he knows them very well.
“If those who killed Muchai will not be arrested because we know them, I am prepared to resign,” Kambi said. “I am prepared to quit if they are left to walk free!”