23 February 2013

Kenya: Two Deny Defacing Election Posters in Murang'a

A Murang'a court has charged two people with allegedly destroying campaigns posters. On Friday, a middle-aged woman and a youth were arrested and charged separately for destroying posters belonging to a parliamentary and governor candidate.

In the first incident, Muti Kung'u was arrested in Kigumo for defacing posters belonging to Nairobi Metropolitan minister Jamleck Kamau.

Kamau is running for the Kigumo parliamentary seat on a TNA ticket. Jamleck has asked the IEBC to investigate one of his rivals for allegedly destroying his campaign materials.

"We know the person who has been defacing my posters and I have reported several times to the police, but nothing has been done," said Jamleck. "I want the IEBC to take up the matter." The accused appeared before a Kigumo court and pleaded not guilty.

He was released on a Sh50,000 bond and surety of similar amount or an alternative cash bail of Sh30,000.

In a Murang'a court, Margaret Njoki Kihara was charged with destroying posters belonging to Saba Saba Asili governor candidate Gacuuru Karenge. The woman was allegedly found pulling down the posters in Murang'a town on Thursday.

Kihara pleaded not guilty before senior principal magistrate Elizabeth Osoro and asked the court to release her on free bond. However, the magistrate declined to give her the bond and said the offence was serious and required a cash bond.

"The court cannot release you on a free bond as the offence has serious implications," said the magistrate. The woman was released on a Sh50,000 bond and surety of similar amount or an alternative cash bail of Sh30, 000.

The case will be heard on March 5. Several other candidates have also decried the defacing of their posters by their rivals. Former ambassador Kembi Gitura has accused his rivals for destroying his posters.

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