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October 22, 2017

Junet arrested and charged with hate speech, out on Sh500,000 bond

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed with his supporters at Homa Bay police station following the former's arrest over hate speech, July 21, 2017. /ROBERT OMOLLO
Suna East MP Junet Mohamed with his supporters at Homa Bay police station following the former's arrest over hate speech, July 21, 2017. /ROBERT OMOLLO

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed was arrested and charged with hate speech at a Homa Bay court on Friday.

Junet, who is also ODM director of elections, was arrested on his way from Kisumu to Migori by officers who put up a road block in Homa Bay town.

Several ODM leaders led by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho went to Homa Bay police station where the legislator was taken.

Homa Bay woman represenative Gladys Wanga urged ODM supporters to converge there to show solidarity.

"Let's meet at Homa Bay police station to demand answers on Junet's arrest. Intimidation tactics by a failed regime [are] unacceptable!" she tweeted.

Junet appeared before Homa Bay principal Magistrate Susan Ndegwa over remarks allegedly issued on July 2 at Tourist Hotel in the county.

He is said to have told a public gathering: Jana nilimwambia Governor Joho kabla ya kuja hapa atayarishe Makaburini grounds huko Mombasa. Tutakuja na Baba (Raila Odinga) aapishwe. Yeye atakuwa rais wa huko pwani Nyanza, Western na North Eastern. Na hawa watabaki huko kwao Nyeri.”

This loosely transaltes to: "Yestersday I told Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho that before coming here, he should prepare Makaburini grounds. We will go there with Raila and he will be sworn in. He will be the president in the Coast, Nyanza, Western and North Eastern. The others will remain at their home in Nyeri."

The court heard that the words were intended to incite contempt, hatred and discrimination against the people of Nyeri based on their ethnicity.

Junet denied the charges. His lawyer Samuel Nyauke appealed to the court  for a bond of Sh50,000 on grounds that he has never skipped court sessions.

Prosecutor Denis Shabola objected Nyauke’s appeal and told the magistrate to decide the amount.

The legislator was released on Sh500,000 bond and Sh100,000 cash bail.

The case will be heard on October 24.

/HABIL ONYANGO

'ZERO TOLERANCE TO VIOLENCE'

Speaking to journalists in his office, Homa Bay DCIO Joseph Tuksho said police had been pursuing the MP since he issued the remarks.

He said the political rally was presided over by Joho.

“We had to cooperate with our colleagues in various parts of the country to have him apprehended."

Tuksho warned politicians against hate speech during campaigns for the August 8 general elections.

He said they will not tolerate any politician who intends to cause violence, hatred and any form of prejudice in the area.

After his release, the MP told journalists the arrest was motivated by ill intentions.

He claimed the matter was meant to silence those who criticise Jubilee leadership over plans to rig the general election.

“There is no offence I committed that warrants my arrest. Jubilee Party is just trying to gag those who condemn election rigging tricks."

Read: Junet arrested in Homa Bay over hate speech remarks

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