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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.”

standardmedia.co.ke

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Woman throws her three children into River Nzoia

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A 24-year-old woman dumped her two children into River Nzoia in Lugari Constituency, Kakamega County last night seconds before jumping into the river with a third child on her back.

The woman who has been identified as Winnie, left her sister’s house where she had been staying at 9 pm duping her children that she is taking them to the shop. It is when they got to the bridge that she asked the children to close their eyes before pushing them one after the other into the roaring mass of water moments after taking the same leap to her death.

One girl survived after clutching on to a branch a distance from where she plunged into the water. The standard two girl explained the horror when she called for help holding on a weak branch.

“She grabbed our hands and jumped in the river. I reach in the middle of the river and got hold of a stick and lurched to it. I was crying,” said the little girl in tears.

According to Alice Magoma, the sister to Winnie, she had come to stay with her after some small disagreement with her husband.

“I didn’t see any problems with her. She had been staying with me for about a week and the husband even came to pick her up yesterday but they disagreed over a certain text message. I asked him to come another day when she has cooled down,” explained Alice.

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

Alice explains that her sister was Okay in the evening, relaxing and chatting. She had left her to cook supper only to come back and find her and the kids not present in the house.

“That’s the last time I saw my sister. She didn’t tell me anything. She didn’t tell me her plan. I thought she was going to sleep at the neighbour’s place. I was wrong.”

The standard two girl who survived was found by Joseph Maleso, the chairman of the Nyumba kumi who took her to his home, gave her some tea and later took her to the police station where they recorded a statement.

The bodies of the woman and her two children are yet to be found.

By Standardmedia.co.ke

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Entertainment

Autopsy shows Churchill Show comedian Kasee was poisoned

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BY KEVIN KOECH

An autopsy report released on Friday, July 3, from the Chiromo mortuary has revealed the late comedian Kasee was poisoned.

The news was made public by by Kenya Comedians Society chairman, Ken Waudo, who quashed reports linking Kasee’s death to alcoholism and depression.

According to Waudo, the deceased, born Joseph Musyoki, received a call from friends on Sunday, June 28, early morning to join them for drinks at a local joint.

He then left his wife and kids to honour his friend’s wishes but never returned home.

“Kasee was chilling at home with his wife and kids when he was called to go hang out with friends and have some drinks.

“He later felt unwell saying his stomach was disturbing him and even called his dad to inform him of the same,” Waudo said.

Kasee had promised to call his dad immediately he got home but never did.

Waudo said at the place the comedian was found dead, there were some kids who revealed he had complained of stomach problems and decided to take a nap before going home.

This was the exact place that the comedian was confirmed dead on the evening of Sunday, June 28.

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

“It was around 6 in the evening and cops who arrived on the scene confirmed he was dead.

“The examiner said his brain was clear and nothing to do with depression and his liver was not that bad, so he was probably poisoned,” Waudo added.

Waudo also revealed investigations were ongoing.

Kasee is survived by two children and a wife.

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Lifestyle

‘Humanity is still alive’ – ex-TPF star Alvan Gatitu says on Kenyans support

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Former Tusker project fame participant Alvan Gatitu has thanked Kenyans for coming to his aid, during a difficult moment in his life.

This was after he shared a video of himself narrating how he had been kicked out of his house.

Taking to his social media account Alvan wrote,

‘when you start your day one way and end up in a different place.

Thankful from the bottom of my heart, God bless you.

Humanity is still alive.’

Speaking during an interview on NTV Alvan said he has fought anxiety attacks before.

‘I have suffered anxiety attacks before.

One thing I promised myself is that I would never be vulnerable enough to speak about where I am in life.

I was trying to hold a fallacy that was hurting me.’

Alvan added,

‘When I woke up in that guard’s booth,I knew I was done trying to  show that am alright.

I had reached out for help and nothing was coming through.

I decided to speak the reality of my situation.’

Kenyans heard his cries and contributed towards his welfare.

It was once again a chance for Kenyans to prove that umoja ni nguvu.

Truth be told, many people are suffering it’s just that they do not have the guts to share like Alvan did.

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

It’s a high time people normalized the idea of speaking out and sharing their problems.

Usikubali kufa na shida peke yaki, ongea,usikike.

By Mpasho.co.ke

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