Jumwa spends night in cell over death of ODM supporter
By Monica Kagia and Sophie Njoka
Abrasive Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa spent last night in police cells as she waits to know whether she will be detained for 21 days to allow police complete investigations into the death of an ODM supporter on Tuesday.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) sought to have the MP detained for three weeks to allow police time to investigate whether the MP was involved in the shooting to death of Francis Ngumbao Jola. The court is this morning expected to make a ruling on the DPP’s request.
Senior Assistant DPP Alloys Kemo said the MP is also being investigated for allegedly assaulting police officers and members of the public, incitement to violence and violation of electoral laws.
The MP, who was yesterday arraigned before Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Vincent Adete was arrested at her home in Kakuyuni, Malindi, on Tuesday night.
Her two employees Samuel Charo and Katana Karisa, were released without charges. Jumwa and Okot are accused of storming a meeting at the home of Reuben Katana, the ODM candidate for today’s Ganda ward by-election, leading to chaos that resulted in the shooting of Jola.
Kemo told the court that unless the MP is detained, there is a likelihood of more violence in Malindi town as voting takes place today. However, the MP’s lawyers Jared Magolo, Gikandi Ngibuini and Michael Ngure, objected to the application, arguing that this would be a violation of her fundamental rights.
After her arrest on Tuesday, Jumwa was taken to the Malindi Police Station before being moved to Mombasa on Wednesday morning.
Reports indicated that violence erupted moments after Jumwa stormed the venue where ODM leaders were meeting 300 party agents at around 5pm, demanding that the gathering be dispersed because campaigns had officially ended on Monday.
Those present included Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi, Magarini MP Michael Kingi, Kilifi North MP Owen Baya, former Malindi MP Willy Mtengo and some ODM officials from Nairobi and Mombasa.
During the fracas, Jola was reportedly shot on the left side of his chest and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Malindi sub-county hospital. The deceased is said to be a relative of Katana, the ODM candidate.
Tension is still high in Ganda ward with more policemen deployed to enhance security during the polls.
Vincent Safari Katana, a relative of the deceased, said everything was well until Jumwa’s team arrived and demanded that the meeting be called off because it was illegal.
“The goons accompanying Jumwa started the chaos and disrupted the meeting. At that time, there were about eight police officers who were trying to keep the peace,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Kilifi County Governor Amason Kingi has demanded the arrest of sub-county police commander Phillip Wambugu and his deputy Solomon Kosgei for allegedly failing to prevent the violence.
Kingi claimed the two escorted the MP to the venue of the ODM meeting and “protected her instead of preventing her from causing chaos”.
Earlier yesterday at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, some Jubilee MPs accused the police of applying the law selectively in the fight against electoral violence.
More than 20 legislators associated with the political outfit Tanga Tanga that is associated with Deputy President William Ruto claimed police rushed to arrest Jumwa yet politicians allied to the Orange party who have allegedly been engaged in electoral violence in Kibra constituency are yet to be questioned.
The legislators claimed no action had been taken against some ODM leaders who were openly calling for electoral violence targeted at the Jubilee candidate MacDonald Mariga during a campaign rally in Kibra last weekend.
They accused legislators Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Babu Owino (Embakasi East) and former Embakasi South representative Irshad Sumra of advocating violence in Kibra.
Led by Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Gladys Shollei (Uasin Gishu County) and Purity Ngirichi (Kirinyaga County), the legislators threatened to institute private proceedings against the ODM leaders.
“As of today the police have not arrested Sumra, Junet and Owino . . . we are just wasting tax payers time if these people are still roaming around. The law must not be applied selectively. Police should move with speed and have them arrested; the Handshake should not be used as a blanket cover for suspected criminals,” said Barasa.
Ngirichi claimed that women were being victimised and arrested just because they are involved in politics yet whenever men engage in violence, they are left to go scot-free.
She said while they are not opposed to police doing their work, they are against police engaging in selective arrests.
“It is obvious that women are being victimised and that is why they are being arrested, we have seen men throw in big words and engaged in all types of violence but are not arrested. Is it that they arrest women because they are weak and can be threatened?” she asked.