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Court orders Jeff Kionange to pay Sh 2 million fine or face six-month jail term

Television talk show host Jeff Koinange has been fined Sh2 million or serve six months in jail for disobeying a court order.

Also fined similar amounts were Standard Group company secretary Carol Cheruiyot and businessman Tonny Gachoka.

Principal magistrate Maisy Chesang found Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka guilty of contempt of court and gave them two hours to deposit the amount or be taken to Industrial Area Prison where they will be remanded until they pay the amount.

The magistrate however excused Ms Cheuiyot and released her on a cash bail of Sh100,000 and gave her up to Monday to pay up the Sh2 million.

Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka’s tribulations are as a result of a dispute with businessman Jimi Wanjigi, his brother Sani Mbui Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies Limited.

The dispute started in March when the complainants obtained orders barring Mr Koinange, KTN Television and the Standard Media Group from broadcasting or publishing defamatory statement concerning them and the company.

‘JEFF KIONANGE LIVE’

Despite serving the order, the three complained that Mr Koinange invited Mr Gachoka on his “Jeff Koinange Live” talk show on April 1 and went ahead to discuss what they were barred from broadcasting.

The businessmen then filed a contempt of court case against them, leading to a protracted court battle until Mr Koinange and Mr Gachoka were arrested for failing to honour court summons.

The magistrate first issued a warrant of arrest against Mr Koinange and businessman Tony Gachoka on May 13 after which they were released on a cash bail of Sh100,000 and Sh50,000 respectively.

The two were then directed to attend court last week but Mr Koinange failed to turn up, leading to fresh warrant of arrest.

Mr Koinange presented himself before Ms Chesang on Tuesday afternoon and apologised for failing to honour a court summon and explained why he skipped the court session to attend a conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Ms Chesang released him on a cash bail of Sh200,000 after he forfeited Sh100,000 he earlier deposited for skipping the court session.

This story was written for publication in the Daily Nation