Muthama, Kuria deny incitement charges, freed on bail

Written By: Margaret Kalekye/Lilian Atieno
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Former Machakos County Senator Johnstone Muthama and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria have been released on Ksh 300,000 cash bail each.

The two politicians Tuesday afternoon however denied charges of incitement to violence before chief magistrate Francis Andayi at the Nairobi’s Milimani law courts.

The two spent Monday night at Pangani police station following their arrests. Kuria was arrested Monday morning and questioned at the Directorate of Criminal investigations, while Muthama was arrested at his Kangundo home in the afternoon.

Their arrest comes at a time when Kenyans have turned up the heat on the National Cohesion and Integration Commission for allegedly failing to deal with hate speech mongers decisively.

Muthama is accused of committing the offence at Isinya town on 10th of this month by uttering words that had the potential of causing war.

Kuria on the other hand is accused of uttering words perceived as abusive and degrading to the person of NASA presidential flag bearer Raila Amolo Odinga and which had the potential of triggering violence.

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He allegedly committed the offence at Waginge market on the 5th of this month.

The court threw out an application by Kuria’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta seeking to have him released on a free bond.

Ombeta however said the decision charge the lawmaker on Tuesday was meant to embarrass him by denying him the chance to attend the official opening of the 12th Parliament by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Andayi also directed that the two sign a Sh1 million bond, which they will forfeit if they do not abide by the bond terms, a condition which was vehemently opposed by Muthamas’ defense team led by Senator James Orengo.

Twice this year, Kuria has been acquitted of two offences of incitement to violence and hate speech, while Senator Muthama last year had similar charges against him dropped.

The hearing of the two cases is set for early next year.

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