Didmus Barasa to be tried over Kabuchai chaos as colleagues walk free

The State has elected to pursue the trial of Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa as it dropped charges facing three other legislators over violence during a by-election.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherangei, Nandi MP Wilson Kogo and Belgut’s Nelson Koech were acquitted because their charges lacked “sufficient elements” to form a strong case.

Police arrested the four lawmakers in March during a by-election in Kabuchai, Bungoma.

“I have perused the application by the State in regards to the withdrawal of the charges against the three accused lawmakers and have no option but to free them (accused) unless they have an objection,” said Bungoma Chief Magistrate Stephen Mugute.

He went on: “On the other hand the case of Mr Barasa will be mentioned on September 25, so that we give an appropriate date for its hearing. He shall be served with all documents relevant to the matter by the prosecution before the said date.”

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa at Kimilili Law Courts, August 2. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

MP Barasa also faces an alternate count of refusing to present his fingerprints after his arrest at Bungoma Police Station.

The freed lawmakers expressed their joy for getting freedom and subsequently applied for the refund of their cash bail which had been deposited at the court after pleading not guilty to the March 4, charges.

The application was successful as the court ordered that they be refunded the Sh50,000 each they had deposited at the court as cash bail.

Police had claimed that the four were key elements in fanning pockets of violence that erupted during the March Kabuchai by-elections where Majimbo Kalasinga of Ford-Kenya received 19,000 votes to beat his closest competitor Evans Kakaki of UDA who bagged 6,000 votes.

Barasa, a first-time lawmaker, is also facing a charge of assaulting and causing grievous bodily harm to Benga artiste Stephen Masinde (Steve Kay) at the Kimilili law courts.

He denied the charge and is free on a Sh150,00 cash bail pending a hearing.

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