Kina charged with ethnic contempt, freed on bail
Narok senator Ledama ole Kina was yesterday charged with ethnic contempt in a Nairobi court.
Ole Kina pleaded not guilty after Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku dismissed his application that sought to terminate charge arguing that it defective.
In her ruling, Mutuku dismissed the application, saying objection of the defence was premature and lacked merit. She also ordered the senator not to comment on the case before court.
The senator was granted a Sh200,000 bond or cash bail of Sh100,000 pending the mention of the case and further directions on July 30.
Through his defence lawyers, Prof. George Wajackoya and Omwanza Ombati, the senator had asked the court not to allow the plea-taking, saying the charge is defective.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji had urged the court to dismiss the application by the defence, saying it has been brought in bad faith.
Haji through Senior State Prosecutor Joseph Riungu had strongly opposed the application by the defence, arguing that the charge against the senator is properly drafted for him to plead to the same.
Riungu, assisted by Angela Fuchaka, dismissed the defence application, saying the DPP has mandate to decide on the prosecution of any person said to have committed an offence without consulting anybody.
He told the court that DPP drafted the charge against senator Kina after he was satisfied that there was enough evidence to charge him.
Riungu told the court that defence lawyers were misleading the court by calling Ole Kina an accused person when he has not yet pleaded to the charges against him.
“At the moment senator Kina is a suspect since he has not pleaded to the charges, as required by the law,” said Riungu. He said the defence were referring to Kina as accused person in their application instead of refering to him as a suspect, and not accused.
Riungu told Mutuku that the application to defer the plea was aimed at delaying the disposal of the case filed against the politician.
“The charge presented before court is not defective at all. It is proper. Let him answer it,” he said.
Riungu said the charge sheet as drafted satisfies all the legal requirements as the facts as presented are clear and understandable.
He said the charge sheet discloses an offence and the senator should not fault it now but should be called upon to answer it.
Riungu said Article 27 of the Constitution stipulates that all must be treated equally, in the face of the law.
“There should be no laws for senators and ordinary citizens. All should be treated equally in the face of the law. He should plead now,” said Riungu .
The magistrate deferred her ruling in the ethnic contempt case against ole Kina until June 18 pending a determination whether the charge filed against him is defective or not.
Earlier Mutuku had directed the defence to file a substantive application objecting to the case filed against the Senator by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) through the office of the DPP.
While opposing plea-taking , Ombati said the charge drawn against the politician offends Article 50 of the Constitution on fair trial and Article 60 on land rights.
in this case against Senator ole Kina.” I was served with a copy of the charge sheet while in court. I want to file an application to quash the case,” Ombati told the magistrate.
The lawyer said the charge as it is drafted offends the article on resolution of disputes out of court.
He had urged the magistrate to indulge the suspect, and allow him to file an application, which will determine on the validity of the charge.
Prof Wajackoya said all those who were involved in the television interview should also be charged.
The charge drawn against ole Kina is that of ethnic contempt contrary to Section 62 (1) of the NCIC.
It is alleged that on February 19 during a television interview, Osle Kina allegedly uttered words that were intended to incite feelings of discrimination against non-Maasai communities living in Narok County.