NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – Eight lawmakers from the ruling Jubilee Alliance and the rival Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) will be detained for four days pending investigations into hate speech allegations.
Jubilee MPs Moses Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu and Kimani Ngunjiri will remain behind bars alongside CORD’s Junet Mohammed, Timothy Bosire, Florence Mutua and Aisha Jumwa.
Also to be detained is Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama.
Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo agreed with the prosecution that the legislators are influential and are likely to interfere with investigations.
The court ruled that public interest outweighed their rights and ordered them remanded at the Muthangari, Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Pangani, Muthaiga and Gigiri Police Stations until June 17.
The magistrate expressed concern with the serious accusations the eight are facing, saying “one would shudder what may happen to the country.”
Kuria and Waititu are accused of uttering words tantamount to bringing death to CORD leader Raila Odinga.
Junet and Mutua on the other hand threatened to storm the office of the Inspector General of Police unless certain people were arrested and charged.
Muthama is also accused of making similar threats on June 11, to storm the IG’s office.
Ngunjiri on the other hand uttered words that members of the Luo community should vacate Nakuru and go back to Kisumu.
Bosire allegedly said President Uhuru Kenyatta had failed to unite the Republic and that chaos would erupt, as Jumwa was accused of saying that there would be no peace following remarks by Kuria.
In pushing its case, the prosecution argued that it needed time to gather forensic analysis and record further statements from witnesses and there was fear they would interfere with witnesses.
Defence lawyers opposed the move, terming it oppressive.
They held that there were no compelling reasons to continue holding them as evidence gathered is already with the police.
Lawyer James Orengo representing the CORD lawmakers insisted that alleged statements did not disclose an offence.