Judge Joseph Onguto Favours Mutahi Ngunyi in Hate Speech Case Where He termed Raila as 'Lord of Poverty'

  • Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi was on Tuesday left off the hook after the High Court prohibited the continuation of a case where he was accused of hate speech.

    In the ruling made by Justice Joseph Onguto, the court noted the Ngunyi's trial had not followed the 'proper criminal justice process'.

    Judge Onguto indicated that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) was "in a hurry to prosecute without giving the petitioner room to pursue the alternative window of conciliation".

    In 2015, Ngunyi came under heat after posting a series of tweets in which he stated that Opposition leader Raila Odinga was a "Lord of Poverty" while the Luo and Luhya communities were his slaves.

    "Raila should be put on TRIAL.The JUDGE: poverty-stricken LUOs. And LUHYAs craving his bondage. CHARGE: selfishness, selfishness, selfishness," one of his tweets read.

    The seemingly injurious remarks prompted former Law Society of Kenya CEO Apollo Mboya to file a petition to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) seeking for the probing of the political scientist and punishment thereafter.

    "The posts target members of a specific community as lacking individuality and in a state of mental slavery, assertions that are not only false but may very well constitute hate speeches directed at specific members of a community for which I am a member,” Mboya said in his application.

    "It is my view that the words uttered by Mutahi Ngunyi are intended to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence and/or discrimination against a community on the basis of ethnicity and therefore committed an offence under Section 62 of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Act," he added.

    Ngunyi was arraigned in court where he denied the charges levelled against him and was released on a Sh200,000 cash bail or a Sh500,000 bond with one surety of a similar amount.

    In December last year, Ngunyi's lawyers - Jennifer Shamala and Michael Amalemba – challenged the court to allow their client seek for other reconciliation options outside the court.

    The case has for now been closed unless the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appeals the judge's decision.