Cherargei charged with incitement, freed on Sh300,000 bail

DP Ruto's ally arrested on Monday night, charged with ethnic contempt

In Summary

• Speech made in August "calculated to stir ethnic hatred by the Kalenjin community against other Kenyan communities".

• He said the words concerning DP's 2022 bid and those opposed to it were misinterpreted. 

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei addresses a gathering.
INCITER? Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei addresses a gathering.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei has until Wednesday noon to deposit Sh300,000 bail following being charged with ethnic contempt and incitement to violence.

He denied the charges.

Cherargei was arrested on Monday night.

The bail condition by a Milimani court followed a late application by the prosecution to charge the senator last evening, a few hours after his arrest.

Cherargei did not spend the night in police custody as the court released him on condition that he provides two contact persons with their original Identification cards. 

"I have considered that the accused person has been charged at a time when most banks have been closed...he should, therefore, deposit his cash bail by tomorrow (Wednesday) noon," chief magistrate Francis Andayi ruled.

The senator is facing charges of ethnic contempt, violating the National Cohesion and Integration Act , following a speech he made in August in Nandi.

He said, "Hii Kenya sisi si squatters, na wakitaka hii Kenya tutakanyagana mpaka wajue hawajui ama tufunge hii Kenya." This loosely translates as, "We are not squatters in Kenya and if they want, we will step on each other until they know that they actually don't know or we close down this country."

He is said to have committed the offence while addressing a gathering during a fundraiser for Kilibwoni Football Club.

The court heard that the words were calculated to stir ethnic hatred by the Kalenjin community against other Kenyan communities.

the senator faces a second count of incitement to violence, allegedly committed on the same date at Kilibwoni Primary school in Nandi.

These were the words as they appeared on the charge sheet, "Wale watu waendelee kupiga vita naibu wa rais' This loosely translates as, "We are profiling you and if you fight the deputy president you are fighting us. We are marking you and we are profiling you,"

"ikifika wakati tutawashughulikia, tutawashughulikia msicheze" meaning "we will deal with them."

He had earlier defended himself by saying that the remarks he made concerning support for Deputy President William Ruto's 2022 bid, which led to his arrest, were misinterpreted.

He said Kisumu DCI detectives questioned him about the meaning of the words. 

The senator had asked state investigating agents to stop intimidating him.

Cherargei had said that he was being investigated due to his position as the chair of Senate Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

The prosecution said the words were calculated to incite violence between the Kalenjin community and other Kenyan communities perceived to oppose the DP, in a violent and unlawful manner. 

The prosecution did not oppose bail but sought a gag order against Cherargei.

The court noted that he is a public figure and declined to issue a gag order. Instead it told him to refrain from commenting negatively over the allegations. If he breaches that directive he will violate his bail and bond terms.

The case will be mentioned on December 17.

Edited by R.Wamochie