Raila's Friend Reaps Millions From Gov't After Court Ruling

A close confidant and a key point man of the ODM leader Raila Odinga, Aharub Ebrahim Khatri is set to smile all the way to the bank after the High Court in Mombasa awarded him Ksh6 million in damages following a protracted battle between him and the former Coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa.

Khatri, who is also the Mombasa County Assembly speaker, had sued Marwa, who is the current Principal Secretary (PS) for Labour and Social Protection, over his utterances on January 13, 2017, that painted him as a notorious drug baron.

The Daily Nation reported on Thursday, October 17, that the High Court judge Justice Dora Chepkwony, in her ruling, found the statements by Marwa to be defamatory and ordered that Khatri be awarded Ksh5 million in general damages and Ksh1 million in exemplary damages.

Tough-talking Nelson Marwa when he was the Security coordinator for the Coast region. The high court found him guilty of defamation against the Mombasa County Assembly Speaker and ordered that the government pays his Ksh6 million in damages.

"Allegations that the plaintiff is a suspected drug baron is serious in nature as it is common knowledge that the drug menace is an emotive issue," she was quoted.

The court is reported to have also issued a permanent injunction blocking Marwa from defaming or intimidating Khatri, stating that his failure to apologize and retract the scathing statements had created a huge dent in Khatri's public reputation and security.

This, she stated, was because there was absolutely no evidence to indicate that Khatri was a drug dealer and that he had also not been implicated or charged with any offence involving the possession of drugs or firearms.

Khatri, in his defence, is reported to have complained about the many woes he has been through ever since Marwa levelled the unsubstantiated arguments against him.

"The statements by the defendant were injurious, slanderous, and likely to cause me harm and expose me to feelings of hatred," his statement read.

He told the high court that after Marwa branded him with the tag of 'drug baron', he has had two marriage proposals turned down, stating that no one was willing to associate with him once the identity came to light.

"I have suffered a lot, and I am still suffering. I am young and it is difficult to get married. I was turned down two times," he was quoted.

Mombasa County Assemble Speaker Khatri with ODM premier Raila Odinga at an event in Mombasa. He alleged that the case between him and Nelson Marwa had caused him untold suffering and turmoil.
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