NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18- Two legislators who were accused of inciting Kenyans and even spent four days at Pangani police station before they were charged have vowed to work together in uniting the country.
Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria say with unity of purpose, the country can address all its challenges without causing violence among Kenyans.
Muthama said just as CORD leader Raila Odinga had forgiven the Gatundu South legislator ‘unconditionally’, “I have also forgiven him (Kuria) without any condition.”
The leaders are known of their controversial statements and tough positions in defending their respective coalitions but Kuria says he is ready to let go of the past.
“As leaders we have a historic opportunity to unite this great nation, our political differences notwithstanding. We owe it to Kenyans. Let’s do it,” Kuria asserted. “Some things happen for a reason. During the last four days, we have discovered that our problems are much narrower.”
Muthama and Kuria spoke on Friday in Milimani law courts, shortly before they were released on bond, while in the company of Siaya Senator and lawyer James Orengo, who was defending them.
They were part of 8 MP’s arrested over hate speech and incitement to violence both from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition and Raila Odinga’s Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).
Kuria and his Kabete counterpart Ferdinand Waititu were released on Sh5 million bond each and a similar surety or cash bail of Sh2 million considered high because of previous cases.
Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo who made the ruling on 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, adding “I have noted that it is set in law that pre-trial bond is a right of every accused person. It can only be 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) were 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.
During the 4 days in Pangani and Muthaiga police station, the leaders were treated just like any other suspect with no special treatment accorded to them.