NAIROBI, Kenya, June 17 – Eight legislators charged with incitement to violence and hate speech have been released on cash bails and bond ranging from Sh1 to Sh5 million.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and his Kabete counterpart Ferdinand Waititu will only get out of custody once they pay Sh5 million bond each and a similar surety or cash bail of Sh2 million.
Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo who made the ruling Friday afternoon stated that he reluctantly granted Kuria and Waititu bail because they had pending cases of similar nature, while terming their charges as “extremely serious.”
“The accused are facing very serious offences which touch on national security. It is also a matter of grave concern to this court that both accused have pending cases before this court almost of a similar nature,” he stated.
“I have noted that it is set in law that pre-trial bond is a right of every accused person. It can only been denied upon proof by the prosecution of compelling reasons.”
The other six, Senator Johnson Muthama (Machakos), MPs Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Florence Mutua (Busia Woman Representative), Aisha Jumwa (Kilifi Woman Representative) and Junet Mohammed (Suna East) have been granted bonds of Sh1 million each with a similar surety, or a cash bail of Sh300,000.
While releasing the eight on bond, the magistrate took time to plead to the accused persons to avoid making utterances that can easily destroy the country.
“We need to do some soul searching about where we want our country to go. It is really not about the worth of the property that you want to present as security. I would really plead that we look at this as a more serious issue that requires all of us to really consider the principles and aspirations that we have enshrined in our Constitution,” he said.
While making their application for bail, defence lawyers led by Siaya Senator James Orengo declared that the rights of their clients were being abused by being denied bail.
Citing previous cases, Orengo indicated that accused individuals facing more serious allegations have been granted bail.
He argued that bail is a constitutional right and however serious the charge a person has been accused of, he has a right to that provision of law.
His sentiments were echoed by his co-counsel Okong’o Omogeni who stated that the prosecution had no evidence that they interfered with the witnesses or the proceedings.
Lawyer John Khaminwa had also brought the court’s attention to the deplorable conditions they had been subjected to while in custody.