Junet charged with ethnic contempt

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed was Friday charged with ethnic contempt for remarks he made at an Orange party rally two weeks ago.

Mr Mohamed was arrested at a roadblock on the outskirts of Homa Bay Town and questioned by Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers.

He later appeared before principal magistrate Susan Ndegwa.

The DCI Homa Bay boss, Mr Joseph Tuksho, said the arrest took place as the lawmaker was heading to Migori Town.

“We have been looking for Mr Mohamed over his utterances,” Mr Tuksho said.

But the lawmaker, who also serves as the ODM director of elections, accused the DCI officers of arresting him and taking him to court without following proper procedures.

junets Junet charged with ethnic contempt

Mr Mohamed is escorted to court from Homa Bay Police Station on July 21, 2017. PHOTO | BARACK ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP


He further said the officers did not give him the reason for his arrest.

Lawyer Samuel Nyauke put up a spirited fight at the Homa Bay Police Station, arguing that his client is a senior member of society and should be treated with respect.

Mr Mohamed was accused of uttering words that contravened the National Cohesion and Integration Act while addressing a political gathering attended by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and other opposition leaders on July 2.

He is said to have ordered Mr Joho to prepare grounds in Mombasa where the opposition coalition would conduct the swearing in of Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

Prosecutors have interpreted the words to mean that Mr Mohamed was saying that if Mr Odinga wins the August 8 General Election, he would become president of certain parts of the country except central Kenya.

Police tabled a transcript of the words in Kiswahili.

They argued that the remarks were derogatory to the people of Nyeri and their ethnic composition.

j3 Junet charged with ethnic contempt

The MP (left), his lawyer Samuel Nyauke and supporters in a Homa Bay court on July 21, 2017. PHOTO | BARACK ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In court, the MP denied the charges.

His arraignment was punctuated with drama, with angry youth forcefully gaining entry into the court.

They began shouting at police officers and court officials.

It took Mr Mohamed’s intervention to calm down the youth, who were demanding his release.

Ms Ndegwa allowed the MP to be released on a cash bail of Sh100,000.

The hearing will be on October 24.

This is not the first time Mr Mohamed has been arrested over remarks deemed as incendiary.

READ: ‘Pangani six’ to preach peace – VIDEO

In June last year, he and seven other lawmakers were arrested and locked in police cells before being taken to court over hate speech.

They were later acquitted due to inadequate evidence.

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