UN staffer denies harming lover, detained until Monday

November 5, 2015 2:22 pm
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Alphonse Kambu who was arrested on Wednesday by Kasarani police was charged with causing grievous harm to the mother of his three-year-old son, which he denied/CFM
Alphonse Kambu who was arrested on Wednesday by Kasarani police was charged with causing grievous harm to the mother of his three-year-old son, which he denied/CFM

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 5 – A United Nations employee has been remanded at the Industrial Area Prison until November 9, when Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo will rule whether he will be released on bond.

Alphonse Kambu who was arrested on Wednesday by Kasarani police was charged with causing grievous harm to the mother of his three-year-old son, which he denied.

“Alphonse Kambu on October 18 at Jacaranda Estate in Kasarani sub-county within Nairobi county, unlawfully did grievous harm to Ruth Gakii Samwel,” his charge sheet reads.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions represented by Jacinta Nyamosi opposed his release on bond for the reason that he is facing life imprisonment, a maximum penalty, should he be found guilty.

Nyamosi argued that given the severity of the sentence, Kambu was a real flight risk. A risk heightened by the fact that he is not a Kenyan national but from Papua New Guinea.

She also told the court that he resides with a house help who has been identified as a prosecution witness and if released, could interfere with her testimony.

Acting for the complainant, Cliff Ombeta also opposed Kambu’s release on bail. He told the court that Kambu was “harassing his client” in a bid to badger her into withdrawing her complaint. “Just as late as last night he had someone banging on her door; forcing her to call the police.”

Kambu’s lawyer Wandugi Karathe dismissed the arguments against his client and used a note verbale from the United Nations Environment Programme to show that his client had co-operated with the police.

He sought to disprove the prosecution’s contention that the police had to lay an ambush for his client. “How would they define co-operation?” he posed. “Did they want him to march to the Kasarani Police Station and write a confession?”

Karathe accused the Kasarani police of orchestrating his client’s arrest to cause him embarrassment. “The agreement was that he’d go to the police station today at 11am. Instead they arrested him in public while he was dropping off his son at Braeburn. And when he got to the station, a reception including the fourth estate had been organised.”

All in a bid, Karathe charged, to paint his client as a monster. “Yet he’s continued to pay rent for the very woman who’s caused him to be persecuted.”

The note verbale was presented to the court by the prosecution to show that Kambu’s diplomatic immunity did not exempt him from prosecution on the charge of grievous harm. It also emerged during arguments that Kambu remains an employee of the United Nations.

Karathe had initially sought to have his client plead to the charge of grievous harm at a later date in order to allow him seek an, “amicable resolution.”

READ: Court declines to defer charges against UN staffer

A prayer Ogembo declined to grant.

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