Kenya: Governor Sang Charged With Assault, Freed on Sh500,000 Cash Bail

25 January 2021

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang was on Monday charged with assault in a case over the destruction of tea farms worth Sh2 million while reclaiming public land he claimed was grabbed.

Following the operation in 2019, the county boss was charged with malicious damage to property, incitement to violence and abuse of office.

However, when he appeared before Kisumu Senior Resident Magistrate Beryl Omollo on Monday, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODDP) preferred a fresh charge against him.

"We have amended the charge sheet to include assault," said Prosecutor Sylvester Thuo, who will pursue three counts of assault, malicious damage to property and incitement to violence.

The abuse of office charge was dropped.

Bail granted

The governor is accused of destroying tea bushes valued at Sh2 million, which belonged to Kibware Tea Estate.

According to the amended charge sheet, he allegedly assaulted an individual at the estate using blunt objects on June 8, 2019.

The act, according to the prosecutor, left the victim with injuries to his neck.

Mr Sang is accused of inciting locals to violence by telling them to arm themselves.

He denied the charges and was released on a Sh500,000 cash bail.

His lawyer Mrs June Maasai asked the prosecutor to serve her with the amended charge sheet.

Sang's arguments

The last time he was in Kisumu County, the county chief said he will not relent in the fight to reclaim land grabbed by private developers.

His administration has identified many properties for reclamation but their owners have dismissed the move as a tactic to divert attention from alleged graft.

Governor Sang blamed 'politics' for his woes and alleged a move to target him personally yet many governors are doing the same in their counties.

Mr Sang noted that many counties are losing public land to unscrupulous developers.

His course of action is not unique, he said, giving the example of demolitions in Kisumu to pave way for the expansion of the Sh3 billion port.

He was ordered to appear in court in person for the proceedings when the case is mentioned on March, 11.

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