Court rejects ex-Mungiki leader Maina Njenga's plea to summon DP Gachagua to court

Maina Njenga

Ex-Mungiki leader Maina Njenga.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Ex-Mungiki leader Maina Njenga's hopes of facing Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua in court have been dashed after the court refused to summon the DP.

Nakuru Chief Magistrate Kipkurui Kibellion dismissed Mr Njenga's application to summon Mr Gachagua to appear before him in a case where the former is accused of leading an outlawed sect.

Mr Njenga wanted Mr Gachagua to appear in court and explain his interest in the case after the DP accused him of pursuing the matter in public.

Through his lawyers, Steve Biko Osur and Evans Ondieki, Mr Njenga alleged that the DP was waging a smear campaign against him and his 11 co-accused in the various public meetings.

According to Mr Ondieki, Mr Gachagua should be summoned to appear in court to explain his interest in the matter.

"The DP has been making malicious propaganda against our clients, accusing them of raping and circumcising people with pangas. How can we be sure that our client will get justice when a senior government official is publicly prosecuting the matter," Mr Ondieki argued.

The lawyer also sought an order restraining Mr Gachagua from commenting on the matter.

He accused the Kenya Kwanza administration of 'weaponising' the fight against crime to harass the country's youth.

Mr Ondieki complained that the government had deployed scores of officers at the court premises to intimidate litigants and court users.

Mr Ondieki said the action had made access to justice difficult as the police had barred them from entering the court premises.

The magistrate, however, refused to grant the orders, citing lack of evidence by the defence on the allegations against the DP.

Mr Kibellion noted that the defence had failed to provide material evidence of how the DP had pursued the matter in public.

"This court can only make specific orders. No material evidence has been placed before me to show that the act of sub judice was allegedly committed by the person on behalf of Rigathi Gachagua, who is the Deputy President of Kenya. I decline to make any order in this regard," Mr Kibellion said.

The magistrate, however, granted prayers directing the police to release four vehicles belonging to the accused.

The court also allowed the prosecution to amend the charge sheet to include three other charges against Mr Njenga, including possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of fake firearms and possession of narcotics.

The prosecution also amended Mr Njenga's name from John Njenga to John Njenga Kamunya.

However, the ex-Mungiki leader remained determined to fight the charges.

He has asked the court seeking an order compelling the State to take the exhibits to South Africa for forensic analysis.

Advocate Ondieki said they suspected that the firearms were planted at Mr Njenga's house in Wanyororo by the police. He alleged that there had been police interference in the investigation.

"We are asking the court to order that the exhibits be taken to South Africa for independent forensic analysis because we want to establish the extent of police interference with them," said Mr Ondieki, who claimed that the police were acting on orders from a higher political authority.

Mr Ondieki claimed that the police, with the support of the current regime, were determined to crack down on individuals who held dissenting views.

The court set 18 July as the date for a decision on whether the evidence should be taken to South Africa for forensic analysis and 20, 21 and 22 November for the hearing of the case of possession of illegal firearms.

Mr Njenga was arrested along with 11 others during a police raid at his home in Wanyororo, Bahati.

He was arraigned in the Nakuru court on 19 May on seven counts relating to the criminal gang and its activities.

The charges include being a member of an organised gang, engaging in organised criminal activities and recruiting members at his Wanyororo home on various dates between 11 and 18 May.

The suspects however denied the charges and were released on Sh100,000 bail.