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Sonko given 2 weeks to respond in Mike Maina defamation suit

Sonko is accused of defaming businessman Mike Maina.

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 22 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been given fourteen days to respond to a defamation suit filed against him by tycoon Mike Maina.

Justice Msagha Mbogoli said that through consent of parties, the governor should file a response to the case for the hearing to take place on March 12, 2019.

The judge said that from the record, the governor has not filed anything to the defamation suit.

The judge made the remarks on Thursday when the matter came up for mention to confirm service and compliance to the directions given by the court.

The judge subsequently extended orders restraining Sonko from continued defamation to the businesswoman until the matter before court is heard and determined.

The dispute between the businessman who owns Marble Arch hotel located next to Nairobi Fire Station arose over the demolition of residential houses in Kayole estate, when the governor telephoned him and uttered what the businessman said were insults, in a recording that went viral on social media.

Kamau said in suit papers that the insults damaged his reputation and image as a respected businessman.

The dispute started in December after Muthithi Investments Ltd, owned by Kamau, started demolishing houses built on a 20-acre plot in Nairobi’s Kayole estate.

The governor then telephoned the businessman and threatened to demolish part of his hotel, which he said is built on grabbed land.

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The firm had earlier obtained a court order to evict the occupants from the plot.

“Pending the hearing of the application inter-parties, a temporary injunction be issued directed at the defendant restraining him from making any defamatory statements and/or making any defamatory publications in reference to the plaintiffs,” reads one of the orders sought by Kamau.

He wants the governor ordered to delete a Facebook post in which he allegedly claims that the businessman misled the court using forged documents.

The businessman said the phone call recording, which was widely circulated, and the Facebook post, were meant to depict him as someone who is violent, corrupt, and has misled the court using fake documents which is a criminal offence under the Penal Code.

“The continued defamation has spread through social media like wild fire to the extent on December 20, 2018, the 1st plaintiff (Kamau’s) name was trending on Twitter following the circulation of the (call recording) video,” the businessman.

Kamau is seeking general damages for libel, slander and loss of business.

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