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Court extends gag order on Muchai’s death

The High Court has extended orders barring Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi and three MPs from making remarks linking Cotu officials to the murder of Kabete MP George Muchai.

Justice Alfred Mabeya made the decision after Mr Kambi  and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria asked for more time to respond to the suit.

The judge also allowed Cotu to serve Juja MP Francis Waititu and Thika Town’s Alice Ng’ang’a with the application through the newspapers after they failed to appear in court.

Last week, Justice Mabeya issued temporary orders barring the four from making the statements, following complaints by the Cotu officials, who also want compensation of Sh500 million for the agony and injury the statements have caused their reputation.

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, Chairman Rajab Mwondi, Treasurer Rebecca Nyathogora, Deputy Treasurer Washington Adongo and Trustees Francis Wangara and Joseph Nyabiya filed the suit.

The officials claim that during Mr Muchai’s burial, Mr Kambi and the MPs said the unionists were responsible for his death and that they should be arrested for the murder.

RECKLESS STATEMENTS

“Those reckless statements in their ordinary sense were understood to mean the six officials are murderers who conspired to kill Mr Muchai and are criminals who should be facing capital charges,” said their lawyer, Mr Jesse Oduor.

He argued that Mr Kambi and the MPs made no effort to verify the statements, knowing investigations into the murder were going on, and that they should have recorded statements with police instead.

Mr Atwoli, in his supporting affidavit, swore that the statements were meant to portray them as corrupt and people who have misappropriated Cotu funds.

“Those words were meant to portray me as a con man, a fraudster, a thief and a person who used his position and cannot be trusted to hold public office. They also portrayed me as a person who leads a gang of murderous who killed Mr Muchai,” said Mr Atwoli.

He argued that Mr Kambi and the MPs were only interested in furthering their political interests by creating a sensation to discredit the Cotu officials.

He said their integrity as Cotu officials has been put to question.

The case is scheduled for hearing on March 18.