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Single mum wins first hurdle against Cord over her burnt matatu

Cord principals have lost a bid to stop a case in which a woman had sued them over her matatu that was burnt during anti-IEBC protests.

Opposition supporters in Mathare had on June 6, 2016 burnt down the matatu along Juja road during anti-IEBC demonstrations called by the Cord principals.

The owner, Ms Agnes Macharia, a single mother in Nairobi, and Prime City Transporters Sacco moved to court seeking to have Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula barred from holding further anti-IEBC protests and that they should be compelled to compensate her.

However, through lawyer Antonny Oluoch, the Cord leaders objected to the suit arguing that the incident was of a criminal nature and cannot be handled by a constitutional court.

But Justice Joseph Onguto on Monday ruled that his Court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter.

GENUINE GRIEVANCES

“There is a likelihood that these are genuine grievances and this court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine matters which rights have been violated, the preliminary objection is hereby dismissed,” Justice Onguto said.

The judge ruled that Cord leaders’ arguments opposing the suit lacked merit.

According to the opposition leaders, Ms Macharia and the matatu sacco wrongly listed them in the suit yet they had no direct responsibility in the burning of the public service vehicle registration number KCE 441E.

“The responsibility of maintaining law and order for any individual or classes of people including during legal demonstrations rests with the Inspector General and other law enforcement agencies, not Mr Odinga, Mr Kalonzo or Mr Wetangula,” said Mr Oluoch during the hearing.

HELD LIABLE

But Ms Macharia and the matatu sacco through their lawyer Mr Wilfred Lusi insisted that the three opposition leaders should be held liable over the loss since it is their supporters who allegedly burnt the vehicle during demonstrations which they had called for.

The judge said he will make his determination on merits of the case and whether the court will award Ms Macharia compensation after a further hearing later this month.

Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimtai was present with Ms Macharia in court.