• Development followed dismissal of an application to terminate charges
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina was Monday charged with ethnic contempt in a Nairobi court.
The arraignment of the senator followed the dismissal of an application he had made seeking to have the charges terminated. Ole Kina had argued that the charges were defective.
Milimani chief magistrate Martha Mutuku dismissed the senator's application, saying the objection was premature and lacked merit.
Ole Kina pleaded not guilty.
The charge sheet says the senator uttered, "Maasai issues will be articulated by Maasais! Not Manje... who is ...who...who can be able to get an audience in Mt Kenya."
The remarks were made on February 19, during the Jeff Koinange Live show on Citizen TV in Nairobi.
The prosecution says the utterances are contrary to the National Cohesion and Integration Act of 2008.
The prosecution said Ole Kina’s words were “intended to incite feelings of discrimination against non-Maasai communities living in Narok county based on their ethnicity.”
The senator had argued that the prosecution was discriminatory in pressing the charges.
He said some people who participated in the offence were not charged and his prosecution was selective. Ole Kina wanted the matter to be forwarded for reconciliation in a national cohesion process.
But the prosecution opposed the application, saying it had been brought in bad faith as the charge sheet was properly drafted.
It said the office of Director of Public Prosecutions received the file after completion of investigation into the alleged offence upon which the charge was approved based on evidence contained in the file.
The senator denied the charges.
Through lawyer Ombati Omwanza, Ole Kina requested for lenient bond terms and witness statements from the prosecution.
Prosecution counsel Angela Fuchaka however asked the accused not to comment on the case on any platform as it may interfere with the matter.
Ole Kina was granted a bail of Sh100,000 or an alternative bond of Sh200,000. The matter will be mentioned on July 30.
On May 19, senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot issued summons for Ole Kina to appear in court to answer charges of ethnic contempt on comments he made during the interview.
On February 25, 2020, the accused was arrested by DCI officers over incitement allegations. He was arrested while leaving the studios of Royal Media Services in Nairobi after an interview.
Edited by P.O