Ndenderu Ward Member of Kiambu County Assembly (MCA) Solomon Kinuthia Wambui was released on a Ksh 100,000 shillings bond after a colleague pressed assault charges against him.
Kiambu Senior principal magistrate Ms. Stella Atambo issued the bail terms with a surety of a similar amount when the case was mentioned but urged both parties to seek alternative settlements outside the court if possible.
She asked the plaintiff to reach out to the defense team to explore mediation options owing to the relationship between then as they both worked at the Kiambu county assembly. The magistrate said the duo were bound to meet and interact at one point or the other in their respective capacities
He had been arraigned in court last week and faced 2 counts of assault and damaging a blouse to the complainant while at the county assembly of Kiambu on November 8th this year.
After he was arraigned in court, he was remanded at the Kiambu prison until today when the court upon reviewing submissions by the defense, prosecution, the complainant, FIDA and LSK noted that there were no compelling reasons to continue keeping him in custody.
The MCA who was on a police bond of 20,000 shillings until Wednesday when his counsel Mr.Gathenji Mbuthi pleaded with the court to defer plea taking on the pretext that the case was being handled by the county assembly of Kiambu.
The court allowed the application to defer plea for one day and when he appeared in court the following day, he denied that he committed the offence.
The magistrate remanded him in remand at Kiambu GK prison until Friday 15th when his case was mentioned for bond terms. However, after submission by 4 counsels, the magistrate fixed the ruling for today so as to be able to study the submissions and documents presented in court. The prosecution were also instructed to put their house in order and get a copy of the Hansard so that they could fast-track the bond process for the accused.
The accused was charged that November 8th 2019 at 1040 hours at Kiambu county assembly building in Kiambu Township of Kiambu County, he willfully and unlawfully assaulted Angela Wanjiru Kangunyi thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm contrary to section 251 of the penal code.
Count 2 stated that on the same day and scene, he willfully damaged a blouse worth 2,500 shillings property of Angela Wanjiru Kangunyi contrary to section 399(1) of the penal code.
The case has attracted representation from the LSK and FIDA who today supported the prosecution that they file the document prior to granting the MCA bond. Mercy Kareithi is representing LSK, Mr. Noel Okwatch is representing the complainant while Mr. Victor Awuor is representing FIDA.
When the case was mentioned today, the defense counsel made an application to be allowed to produce the Hansard and the proceedings were temporarily halted to allow him to serve other parties.
For the complainant, Mr. Okwatch served the court with an affidavit in which she complained that the accused be denied bail as they work in the same institution and that he would interfere with prospective witnesses by intimidating them. Counsels holding brief for FIDA and LSK and Donnex Ongira senior Prosecuting counsel for DPP vehemently opposed the MCA to be granted bail.
While opposing the accused to be released on bond, the counsel told court that the accused had no respect for court orders as he had mutilated one when he allegedly assaulted the complainant who was expounding for the MCA’s its contents after it was received by the county assembly of Kiambu.
The MCA had submitted through his counsel that bond or bail was his constitutional right that should not be taken away without compelling reasons. That the charge was a misdemeanor, a fact not contested and further that he was not arrested but that he presented himself to the police station and was granted bail.
When the case was mentioned today, the magistrate noted that there was a presumption of innocence and the he must go through trial to weigh the strength of evidence so that he indeed poses no risk to the trial.
“There is only one issue that arises for determination and that is whether there are any compelling reasons for this court to deny the accused person bond/bail after plea of not guilty has been entered. She said both charges are bailable and that article 50 of the constitution addresses the rights of an accused person. That is the right to a fair hearing where he is presumed to be innocent until contrary is proved, to be informed of the charge with sufficient detail and to have time to prepare a defence”said Ms. Atambo.
While reiterating that bail is a constitutional right, she noted that the objective of bail/bond was to secure the accus.His jubilant supporters lauded the decision as they temporarily interrupted proceedings soon after he was released
By Lydia Shiloya