Embakasi East Parliamentary aspirant Stephen Maina Waruinge has been arraigned in court and charged with threatening to kill contrary to section 223(1) of the penal code.
Waruinge is alleged to have threaten to kill fellow parliamentary aspirant Francis Mureithi Wambugu on April 19th 2017.
The accused is said to have committed the offence at Lacaste Club in Mihango Area Embakasi East, jointly with others not before court.
Waruinge is alleged to have uttered the words…. “hata Mugabe Were alishinda hii kiti lakini hakukalia….” (Even Mugabe Were won this seat but never occupied it) without lawful excuse, words which were meant to threaten to kill Wambugu.
He denied the charge before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.
The prosecution opposed his release on bond on grounds that the charges against the accused person are serious and he was found with a gun which is yet to be verified as licensed.
Applications by defense lawyer
His lawyer Kibe Mungai wanted plea to be postponed for a week in order for him present his nomination papers to the returning officers of his constituency.
He also prayed that the charge sheet be struck out as they alleged it to be defective on grounds that to have a valid charge under the section he was charged, the accused person who uttered the words should be identified and to whom the words are uttered.
Intimidation by seniors from Deputy President’s office
Mungai told the court that the accused was before court on account of political intimidation.
The lawyer added that after the accused lost unfairly, according to him, he went ahead to vie as an independent candidate and since then he has been subjected to a combination of offers that he will be given another job if he withdraws from contesting.
“My client is being coerced by the complainant and persons from the office of the Deputy President the Ministry of lands that support the complainant in the case and was told that he will not be a candidate,” Mungai told the court.
The lawyer added that the prosecution objected to his release on bail so that he does not present his papers to the returning officer which showed that the charge is meant to secure an improper motive.
The accused, complainant and the officials trying to coerce him are subject to the electoral code of conduct set in the 2nd schedule of the elections Act.
He said that the accused and the complainant contested for the jubilee party ticket during the nominations held in Embakasi east constituency on April 26th 2017.
Conspiracy in the charges
The defense lawyer told magistrate Andayi that the alleged offence was committed on April 19th, a week before the nominations.
He added that the accused was arrested yesterday at his house by officers from parliament police station although the offence occurred in Embakasi East constituency.
High Court petition by Waruinge against Wambugu
Mungai told the court that when his client was arrested at his home, he was on his way to see him to instruct him to file a case in the high court complaining about an election offence by Wambugu.
“The high court case was to be heard today but could not proceed because of the arrest,” said Mungai.
Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu responded that the prosecution and police were not part of the coercion and intimidation if they do exist.
He added that the reasons given to differ plea do not carry weight and no papers to prove the High court case.
“The defense has not presented any papers before court to show any proceedings at the high court and whether there are any stay orders,” said Ondimu.
The magistrate ruled that having considered the submissions by the defense counsel and issues raised by the prosecution, bail is a constitutional right to every person.
He therefore released Waruinge on a bond of Sh 500,000 and two sureties or a cash bail of Sh 500,000
The case will be mentioned on June 5th and will be heard on June 29th 2017.