Muthama moves to court to block arrest over ‘hate speech’ remarks
The High Court has declined to grant temporary orders to stop the arrest of Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, but his application has been certified as urgent.
Early Thursday, Muthama had moved to the High Court seeking to block his arrest and prosecution.
Muthama, together with activist Japhet Muroko, went to the high court after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko recommended that they be charged with incitement to violence in regards to their utterances at Uhuru Park during a political rally.
In his application, Muthama said the action to arrest and prosecute him is punitive and discriminatory.
Muthama, through his lawyers, contested his prosecution sating that the recommendation was politically influenced contrary to the constitution.
Justice Joseph Onguto directed Muthama’s lawyers to serve the parties sued, among them the DPP and Interior ministry CS Joseph Nkaissery, pending an inter-parties hearing of the matter on Friday, October 9th.
Senator Muthama is charged against political activist Japheth Muriira Muroko. In the case the two are said to have made utterances and allegations that are considered inflammatory and contrary to Section 96(A) of the Penal Code during a a Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) rally.
In his remarks, that have been described as indelicate, Muthama questioned government’s willingness to deal with graft in government especially in the case of the National Youth Service graft issue.
Muthama, who was also accused alleging that CS Waiguru and President Uhuru Kenyatta were involved in an intimate affair, defied calls from the different factions to apologize saying that he made remarks that could be verified.
It is alleged that Senator Muthama uttered words that are disrespectful to President Kenyatta, CS Waiguru and propagated hate speech.
Upon receipt of the news, Interior Cabinet Secretary Major Gen. (Rtd.) Joseph Nkaissery ordered for immediate investigations into the allegations of hate speech against the Senator who was accused of undermining the Office of the President.
Clergy from the Lower Eastern region, which includes Machakos, Kitui and Makueni, called on leaders to respect the Head of State and his office saying that the President is a symbol of national unity and must not be abused or disrespected.
“The Presidency is a symbol of unity and must, should and ought to be respected by all peace loving Kenyans,” said the clergy.
The men of the cloth, led by Bishop Charles Kababu of GCC Machakos, condemned the alleged utterances by a section of the CORD leaders during the political rally that was convened to express support to striking teachers.
They said that the inflammatory statements may lead the country to violence similar to that experienced after the disputed 2007 presidential election that left at leas5t 1,300 people dead and over 600,000 others displaced.
The clergy said that even the Bible calls for respect for leaders and those in authority.
They further noted that the language used by leaders will have a direct impact on the children and younger generations since they learn from their predecessors and seniors.