NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – A Nairobi court on Friday dropped hate speech charges against Kiambu Governor William Kabogo for lack of evidence.
Governor Kabogo was taken to court for allegedly making disparaging remarks against Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Kabogo is accused of making utterances against Odinga over a year ago.
The Kiambu Governor said in Kiswahili: “Basi nyinyi watu wa magazeti mwambie Raila aache upuzi, aache nini? Sisi hatutaki upuzi.”
He was speaking at Thika Stadium.
While making the ruling, Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku pointed out that the prosecution failed to produce evidence linking Governor Kabogo with alleged incitement to violence.
The magistrate says the prosecution relied on electronic evidence from some two television networks in the country, but failed to produce the cameraman who shot the video clips.
The court also found that two prosecution witnesses who were called upon denied having heard the words which were uttered by Kabogo.
Mutuku said that prosecution ought to have established a prima facie case against the accused, saying no ethnic community came forward to complain that the words uttered by Kabogo were meant to incite them.
“From statements by the prosecution no indication was shown that a particular community indeed complained over the alleged utterances,” she pointed out.
It is a reprieve for him as the country heads to the electioneering period, where one needs to be cleared by the CID before he can vie or defend any seat.