A senior officer of Murang’a County government has been charged with malicious damage to property after he allegedly destroyed the campaign billboard belonging to Kangema MP Muturi Kigano.
Mr Kuria Thuita was Wednesday charged that, together with others not in court, he destroyed a billboard belonging the MP valued at Sh1.2 million.
Mr Thuita, who was represented by five lawyers, objected to the charges, arguing that he acted as a county official and not in his personal capacity and that charging him was tantamount to abusing his rights as an office holder.
Led by lawyer Josphat Kimwere, the defence team argued that their client removed all campaign materials in the county and wondered why the MP is the only one aggrieved by action.
“The complainant, MP Muturi Kigano, wants the court to protect an illegality in the first place. The Election Act gives a deadline for the removal of the campaign materials,” Mr Kimwere told the court, adding that if the charges against Mr Thuita are sustained, it will open the door for politicians to abuse the court process.
The lawyers added that their client serves at the county government, which is a creation of the Constitution that provides for the functions and duties of the sub-county administrators, a position Mr Thuita invoked when he commissioned the removal of the billboard.
The prosecution, through Ms Rose Sempelle, opposed the application, the grounds by the defence were not sufficient to make the court to stop the plea.
“The defence has not laid reasonable grounds to warrant the court [to stop] the plea. I have instructions from my senior to commence the case after carefully perusing the file. The accused is facing a criminal charge, an act he committed himself and as to whether he did so as a result of his office, those are matters that can be raised during the trial,” the prosecutor told the court.
Senior Principal Magistrate PM Kiama opposed Mr Thuita’s application, saying that the defence did not cite any law to warrant him to stop the charges.
“No law has been cited to show that the suspect should not take plea. No one is above the law and I hereby order that the plea is taken,” he directed.
The accused was released on a Sh100,000 bond and Sh50,000 cash bail.
hearing has been scheduled for May 14 while pre-trial hearing will take place on March 26.
Credit: Source link