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Man jailed for failing to raise Sh 9.5 million after losing Mathira election petition

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David and Goliath with a twist aptly captures Michael Gichuru’s legal battle to have Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua’s election nullified. Whereas in the biblical story David triumphs over Goliath, Mr Gichuru’s case is different.

The uneven match-up of pockets and legal manoeuvering was not as reliable as Gichuru hoped.

When Gichuru started his legal battle, immediately after the 2017 elections, all he hoped for was justice in what he felt was not a fair contest.Never in his wildest dreams did he think that what he was starting would leave an indelible mark on his life and condemn him to prison.

The 34-year-old village photographer, from Karatina, is now languishing behind bars at King’ong’o Maximum Prison in Nyeri town, after he was unable to raise Sh9.5 million to settle the legal bill from the case.

Police cell

For a man who had never spent a night in a police cell, Gichuru now mingles with convicted criminals at the prison, thanks to the jail term sanctioned by a Nyeri court.

Nyeri High Court Deputy Registrar Nelly Kariuki this week jailed Gichuru over his failure to settle the Sh9,518,972 bill that arose from the petition.According to the law, in a civil matter, the losing party bears the costs of the suit.

Call it naivety or bravery but the father of two, a son and a daughter, decided to take on the moneyed Mr Gachagua head-on not knowing that the end result might be disastrous.

READ ALSO:   MP dismisses Kikuyu elders as political conmen with no mandate to guide community

He is now scratching his head with the hefty bill hanging over his head, never mind that he has never handled a million in cash.

Gachagua’s lawyer Wahome Gikonyo sought orders to have Gichuru compelled to pay the amount and the prayer was granted.Yet for his woes, Gichuru does not believe he defied conventional wisdom when he chose to challenge the election.“I consider myself as a voice for the voiceless and since

I was aware of so many irregularities that went on in that election that not everybody knew about, I decided to act,” he told The Standard at the imposing King’ong’o Maximum Prison.

The Herculean task that Gichuru took up goes against his nature. He is discreet, and worked as a videographer and graphic designer before he was jailed.Gichuru was represented by lawyers from Rachier & Amollo law firm.

When The Standard visited him at King’ong’o Prison on Tuesday, he walked into the visitors’ room clutching a copy of the Constitution he had borrowed from the prison library. When the conversation between us lulled, he idly flipped through the pages.In the sweltering late afternoon heat, he had on a thick grey sweater over his stripped white shirt.

His first words to us were a passing comment about his size. “I know you expected that I would be bigger,” he said.

READ ALSO:   MP dismisses Kikuyu elders as political conmen with no mandate to guide community

Gichuru is diminutive and can barely pass for a 34-year-old.He is also quick to make light of his predicament. “When I came here on Monday, an officer joked that I had chosen the day inmates were served meat,” he said, chuckling.

“The only reason I am here is because I was not served with the documents on time. I was aware of the costs but I was waiting for the process to proceed in the right way.“My lawyers were not involved in the taxation and the same way I was served with the notice to show cause why I should not be jailed was the same way I should have been served with the bill of costs,” he said.

His argument, however, fell short of convincing the court that he was committed to settling the bill.

Baffled many

The deputy registrar observed that Gichuru had not provided a breakdown of how he will make the payments.Submitting on behalf of Gachagua, Wahome said that Gichuru had been served with the bill of costs through his advocates and that is why the matter proceeded to taxation.

That Gichuru was not a candidate, nor did he have any other interest in the case beyond conducting his civil duty, baffles many.

For his reformist ideology, he is modest enough to admit he might not be the headline, but is determined to be more than a footnote.

READ ALSO:   MP dismisses Kikuyu elders as political conmen with no mandate to guide community

He vehemently denies he was a proxy for candidates that lost that election.“I was not acting on anyone’s behalf,” he said, “I was an administrator during the election but that only gave me an advantage to know what was going on, on the ground and act.”

Locked out

“I am on record as informing the electoral commission returning officer that a number of agents were locked out of the polling stations and the process could never be free and fair,” he said.Although he would not say, The Standard is aware, from court records, Gichuru was employed as an agent for Phyllis Wambura, who came second in the election. Gachagua garnered 52,757 votes against Wambura’s 28,893.“I know I am not alone in this because I was speaking for a large number of people who still believe the election was not free and fair. I can still go back to them (to help raise the money),” he said.He added: “Most of the voters encouraged me to continue doing what I was doing.”

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VIDEO: Tanzanian woman wants to be President Uhuru’s wife but Kenyans online are not amused

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It appears Tanzanian singer Rehema Chalamila popularly known as Ray C infatuation with President Uhuru Kenyatta is not going anywhere anytime soon, if a picture she has shared on social media is anything to go by.

In the photo, the sassy songbird is captured wearing a revealing bodysuit with fishnet stocking while posing near a pool.

“Future Mrs Uhuru!jah love!,” the photo is captioned.

Predictably, the post has attracted great interest from the online community.

“Jamani huyu ashindwe kwa jina la Yesu, Juzi ukitembelewa na malaika akakutia ufahamu, Leo,” said reymsemo.

“Hivii ni wewe juzi ulieongea maneno ya kiroho hapaa mpka nikajua Umeokoka!!!?” asked wilkins_ms.

“Not our president… we love our first lady,” commented roselynatema.

“Ray C all reckless. She’s ready to risk it all,” said ayuma.

“Uhuru wetu wa Kenya ama mgani?” asked stacy 254.

“Haki ringtone apoko anatusumbua atahitaji jiko. Si umchukue tu,” suggested angel_johnson.

Ray C publicly declared her “undying love” for President Kenyatta last year while on a music tour in the country.

She claimed that Mr Kenyatta was the ideal husband for her and this has added to her love for Kenya.

 

by nairobinews

READ ALSO:   MP dismisses Kikuyu elders as political conmen with no mandate to guide community
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Uhuru announces end of public commemoration of his father’s death

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday announced the end of a 41-year-old tradition that was upheld by former President Daniel Arap Moi and his predecessor, the third President Mwai Kibaki.

President Kenyatta declared an end to public observation of August 22, as the day Kenya’s founding President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died.

The President stated that the decision had been arrived at following consultations with the larger Kenyatta family.

President Uhuru spoke while accompanied  by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the laying of a wreath at the mausoleum of  Mzee Kenyatta as part of activities to commemorate the 41st anniversary since his death in 1978. Present too was Deputy President, William Ruto.

More to follow…

READ ALSO:   MP dismisses Kikuyu elders as political conmen with no mandate to guide community
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Reprieve for families in Ethiopian Airlines crash as renowned US lawyer takes up case 

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Kenya was the worst hit when Ethiopian Airlines plane Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed near the town of Bishoftu on 10th March 2019 killing all 157 passengers on board. A total of 32 Kenyans died in that crash, making Kenya the most affected country.

It has been five months since the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, affected families have been locked in a legal tussle with US plane manufacturer Boeing for close to half a year now.

Families who lost their kin in the deadly crash can now breathe a sigh of relief as renowned US-based lawyer Manuel von Ribbeck has filed additional lawsuits against Boeing.

For starters, Manuel von Ribbeck is a lawyer who focuses on representing victims of catastrophic incidents, including aviation disasters from human or mechanical errors.

Manuel von Ribbeck (left)Manuel von Ribbeck (left)

Lion Air

Ribbeck is basically the hope of many aircraft accident victims throughout the world. He also represented families who lost their kin in Indonesian carrier – Lion Air Flight 610, which is the same model with Ethiopian Airlines plane Boeing 737 MAX 8. The October 29th 2018 Lion Air crash killed all 189 passengers and crew on board.

Ribbeck’s law firm – Ribbeck Law Chartered and its co-counsels Global Aviation Law Group and Igeria and Ngugi Advocates filed additional lawsuits against Boeing in the case involving Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

READ ALSO:   MP dismisses Kikuyu elders as political conmen with no mandate to guide community

A total of 66 affected family members are seeking $1 billion/Ksh 100 billion in compensation for damages from the American plane manufacturer.

The renowned lawyer seeks to consolidate the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines cases if no settlement is reached soon for his clients. The law firms argue that consolidating the two cases will solve the issue of contradicting orders if the cases are handled by different judges.

By Ghafla

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