court quashes the conviction of Jeff Koinange

jeff koinange

Television talk show guru Jeff Koinange is a relieved man after high court set aside a KSh 2 million fine or six months jail term imposed on him for contempt of court

While delivering her ruling, Justice Roselyn Aburili declared that the proceedings at a magistrate’s court that led to the sentencing of Koinange and businessman Tony Gachoka were in “violation of a fair trial.”

Justice Aburili said that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain contempt proceedings.

She directed that the fines be refunded as the proceedings and consequential orders had been set aside.

“The procedure adopted in punishing the applicants was improper, irregular, void and a violation of a fair trial,” the judge said.

Justice Aburili said the trial court imposed sentences without giving the applicants an opportunity to “mitigate.”

“After hearing the parties, the magistrate imposed fines without giving them an opportunity to mitigate…records show that mitigation came after a problem arose when trying to enforce the sentence,” she said.

The judge added that in contempt proceedings it is required to allow for mitigation.

She said that the lower court although has the “mandatory” power to punish for contempt, in this particular case, it lacked the “interlocutory” jurisdiction to do so.

Principal magistrate Maisy Chesang had found Koinange and Gachoka guilty of contempt of court as a result of a dispute with businessman Jimi Wanjigi, his brother Sani Mbui Wanjigi and the Kwacha Group of Companies.

Wanjigi filed a contempt of court case against Koinange and Gachoka after they continued to talk about Kwacha Group of companies on his show, even after being barred by the court.

The dispute arose in March 2015 when the complainants obtained court orders barring Koinange, KTN and the Standard Group from broadcasting or publishing defamatory statements concerning them and the company but despite  the order Koinange invited  Gachoka on his Jeff Koinange Live talk show on April 1 2015  and  discussed issues relating to Kwacha Group of companies.