16 August 2013

Kenya: MP Charged for Assaulting Female Traffic Cop

Photo: Justus Ochieng/The Star
Anti-riot police put out a fire after rowdy youths in Kisumu engaged the police in running battles in protest against demolition of their structures (file photo).

Nairobi — Bahati Member of Parliament Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri has been charged with assaulting a traffic police officer in Nakuru town.

The legislator was arraigned before Nakuru Resident Magistrate Ruth Amwai, where he faced six counts, including flouting traffic regulations and disobeying orders from the female police officer.

The MP denied the charges and was released on a bond of Sh600,000 or a cash bail of Sh150,000 for all the offences listed on the charge sheet.

The magistrate however allowed the police to detain the MP until Saturday to enable them to conclude their investigations before he is freed if he meets the bail terms.

The scuffle is reported to have occurred late on Thursday when the police officer, Maria Mutheu, demanded to know why the lawmaker had parked his vehicle at an undesignated area.

"When I told the driver to remove his vehicle because it was obstructing, the driver (the MP) started attacking me physically," explained Mutheu from a hospital bed.

"He called me very abusive words and I cannot even repeat them. But when he hit me on the shoulders I realised he was serious and I had to flee for my safety."

The traffic police officer who was allegedly assaulted told journalists that the legislator descended on her with kicks and blows injuring her right arm.

The MP however defended himself from the accusations instead blaming the police officer and the media for "blowing the matter out of proportion."

"That woman hit me with a baton cutting my lip and she called me names including prostitute and a homosexual in the presence of eye witnesses. We won't be intimidated by police," said Ngunjiri.

The incident attracted a large crowd who witnessed the event before Mutheu was taken to hospital.

"Ngunjiri was told by the female officer to remove his vehicle because it had been wrongly parked but the MP told her that he was there to buy something," said an eye witness.

"I'm not sure what exchanges went on before they started fighting."

Thursday's incident is not the first where a law enforcer has been physically assaulted by a civilian.

It was just Wednesday when a traffic police officer in Kisumu was attacked and beaten by motorcycle operators for allegedly causing an accident and trying to escape.

The motorcyclists are said to have given chase before catching up with the officer when they beat him up.

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