Wambui’s case set for April 14 ahead of by-election

The case by former Othaya Member of Parliament Mary Wambui against her ouster is now due to be heard on April 14 after it was certified as urgent by the Supreme Court.

Wambui is seeking to compel the Supreme Court to revert the decision by a three judge bench in Nyeri, ahead of the by-election set for April 29.

Her lawyer Cecil Miller said that the Appellate Court had erred in overturning the decision by High Court Judge Jarius Ngaah which upheld Wambui’s win as Othaya MP.

Miller further contended that the Court of Appeal had exceeded its jurisdiction by interrogating and making findings on matters of fact that had been determined by the trial court.

The Court of Appeal annulled Wambui’s election as Othaya MP while faulting High Court Judge Ngaah for upholding her victory.

It had ruled that Justice Ngaah’s verdict did not reflect the legitimate aspirations of the Othaya electorate, as he did not adequately interrogate evidence discrediting Wambui’s win.

Dwelling largely on Justice Ngaah’s failure to order a recount, the appellate judges ruled that without the scrutiny of the contentious votes, the judge’s verdict was erroneous.

Justice Ngaah had dismissed the petition filed by March 4 poll loser Peter King’ara after finding that Wambui’s election was generally free and fair.

King’ara had challenged Wambui’s election on the grounds that she was not qualified to hold the office of legislator as she did not even hold a Kenya Certificate of Primary Education certificate.

He had also alleged that she did not possess the integrity that is required of public office holders as stipulated in Chapter six of the Constitution.

Among the electoral malpractices King’ara had accused her of, are voter bribery and the manipulation of electoral officers.

This article was published by CAPITAL FM NEWS on April 9, 2014

Kenya to grow domestic tourism – Kandie

The government is focusing on growing domestic tourism to avoid huge losses when there is a drop in international tourist arrivals due to internal or global shocks.

Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Phyllis Kandie says domestic tourism will not only focus on Kenyan citizens, but tourists from the East African region.

“With the support of the recovery committee that I formed over two months ago, we are getting a lot of ideas on how we can really focus on the local tourists and try to recover the industry,” Kandie said.

The nine-member committee includes the Chairperson of the Kenya Tourism Federation Lucy Karume, KAHC Chairman Jaideep S. Vohra, KATO Chairman Adam Jillo and KTB chief Muriithi Ndegwa.

Others are Chris Modigell who will represent South Coast Stakeholders, Roberto Marini (Malindi) and Philemon Mwavala (Watamu). Nairobi lawyers Donald Kipkorir and Cecil Miller represent non-tourism stakeholders.

According to the Tourism Ministry, international tourist arrivals have in the last one year dropped by 7 percent from 925,000 arrivals to 860,000 due to insecurity cases.

On the other hand, growth in domestic market measured in bed nights increased from 2.65 million tourists to 3.12 million.

“This is our immediate plan and I believe we will achieve the goal of sustaining the growth of the tourism sector,” she said.

The government wants to also ride on the growing EAC integration by ensuring more regional citizens come to visit Kenya. This will include the use of National Identity cards as travel documents instead of passports, a project launched in January this year between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

“We have plans to rebrand Kenya a move that will see the World view us as the best destination despite any kind of challenge, “she expressed her optimism.

Kandie’s sentiments come in the wake of numerous terrorists attacks with the latest being the Eastleigh blast on Monday night which left six people dead and 32 injured.

Kenya also plans to focus on emerging markets that Kenya is focusing is the Middle East, China and India.

Kandie was speaking during the ongoing Cabinet briefings at Harambee House on Tuesday aimed at informing Kenyans what various ministries have achieved in the last one year and their future focus.

Others at the media briefing were Cabinet Secretary for ICT Fred Matiang’i, Najib Balala of Mining (who chaired the session) Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli plus Energy and Petroleum Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge.

Njoroge explained that apart from the ongoing addition of 5000 megawatts of power by 2017, the ministry plans to connect 5,000 primary schools to the national grid and 1,400 to solar systems.

He said the move will help the Education Ministry smoothly implement the laptop project.

This article was published by CAPITAL FM BUSINESS on Apr 1, 2014

UK court extends period to allow more Mau Mau claimants

Former Mau Mau veterans who did not benefit from the Sh2.6 billion pay out from the British government have until May 30 to file their claims, lawyers involved in the case said Tuesday.

Lawyer Cecil Miller whose firm Miller and Company is working with UK law firm Tandem Law said the High Court in Britain had extended the deadline for submitting claims from April 30 to May 30.

“Tandem Law will accept new genuine claimants upto until 5pm on April 30, 2014 to enable the firm to effectively process and verify new claims,” he said.

The litigation in UK is related to the torture, mistreatment, forced labour and wrongful detention of Mau Mau fighters by the British government during the 1952 State of Emergency.

Mr Miller said genuine claimants coming forward after April 30 can still register a claim, by contacting one the other four firms involved in the group litigation that include GT Law, Knights Law, Slater and Gordon or PKKamau/Glassbrooks.

“Our aim is to secure adequate and long-overdue financial compensation for claimants. In doing so we need to go to court to reach a settlement on behalf of our clients,” he said.

The lead solicitor for Tandem Law, Mr Freddie Cosgrove-Gibson, said progress had been made in the group litigation order although no agreement has been reached with UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

“Negotiations regarding settlement are not currently taking place. We remain committed to work with the court and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) bring these matters to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion,” Mr Cosgrove-Gibson.

Recently, the Law Society of Kenya said it wanted the High Court in Britain to give more time to potential claimants seeking Mau Mau compensation to come on board.

Chairman Eric Mutua said LSK had appointed Mr Fraser Whitehead of Slater and Gordon Lawyers of the UK to file a case in court to push for the inclusion of more claimants in the Mau Mau case.

The claimants had until April to be screened and file their suits.

Speaking after a meeting with Mr Whitehead and lawyer P.K. Kamau who is coordinating the Mau Mau matter on behalf of LSK in Kenya, Mr Mutua said his organisation would apply to be enjoined in the case in the UK on Thursday.

“We want to protect the interests of the public so that potential claimants are not locked out of the case,” he said.

More than 13,000 claimants have so far sought compensation from the British Government over mistreatment during the struggle for independence.

Mr Kamau said another 4,000 had written to his PK Kamau and Company Advocates seeking payment.

Mr Whitehead’s firm specialises in group litigation and has handled many major cases including that of a ship that sunk in Greece and one on bad cosmetic surgery.

Mr Whitehead is one of UK’s leading lawyers dealing with group litigation.

Mau Mau veterans excluded from the Sh2.6 billion payout from the British Government for atrocities committed during the colonial period started to register for fresh claims last year.

The registration, which was ordered by the British court, is being led by a British firm and targets 8,000 veterans. The Sh2.6 billion compensation only benefited 5,228 people.

This article was published by the DAILY NATION on March 25, 2014

DPP formally terminates Kidero, Shebesh cases

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has dropped charges against Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Nairobi Woman Representative Rachael Shebesh.

This follows withdrawal of the respective petitions lodged at the High Court against the Director of Public Prosecutions by both parties.

Shebesh was due to be charged with creating disturbance while Kidero was to face assault charges.

Tobiko also ordered that police close all inquiry files with no further action on the matter.

On 9th December, last year following an investigation and recommendations by the Police, the DPP had directed that Kidero be charged with the offence of assault causing actual bodily harm contrary to Section 251 of the Penal Code.

The DPP had also directed that Rachael Shebesh be charged with the offence of creating disturbance contrary to Section 95(1) (b) of the Penal Code.

On, 19th March this year, the Police however forwarded to the DPP further statements recorded by Kidero and Shebesh, formally withdrawing the criminal complaints they had lodged with the Police against each other.

“In light of the formal withdrawal of the respective complaints, it would serve no purpose and may in fact be an exercise in futility for the Director of Public Prosecutions to proceed on the charges,” he stated.

Shebesh was represented by lawyer Cecil Miller while the Governor had hired the services of Tom Ojienda.

This article was published by CAPITAL FM NEWS on March 21, 2014

DPP withdraws charges against Kidero and Shebesh

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s office has formally withdrawn charges against Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero and Woman Representative Rachel Shebesh.

The DPP said in a statement sent to newsrooms that on December 9, 2013, following an investigation and recommendations by the police, he had directed that Dr Kidero be charged with the offence of Assault and causing actual bodily harm contrary to Section 251 of the Penal Code.

The DPP had also directed that Ms Shebesh be charged with the offence of creating disturbance contrary to Section 95(1) (b) of the Penal Code.

Investigators, he said, forwarded the case file on March 19, 2014.

“The Police forwarded to the DPP further statements recorded by Dr Kidero and Ms Shebesh, formally withdrawing the criminal complaints they had lodged with the police against each other,” he said.

“In light of the formal withdrawal of the respective complaints, it would serve no purpose and may in fact be an exercise in futility for the Director of Public Prosecutions to proceed on the charges,” he said.

The DPP noted that although the complainant in the charge against Ms Shebesh is the State, “nonetheless, the charge arises from the same transaction as that against Dr Kidero.”

He further noted that Dr Kidero and Ms Shebesh have since withdrawn the respective petitions that they had lodged at the High Court.

“In the addition, petition filed by Alex Nchore Ochako on the same subject matter was dismissed with costs,” he said.

“The DPP therefore has directed that his earlier decision and directive to charge the two is withdrawn,” the statement said.

He also stated that the police inquiry case file be marked as closed with no further police action.

This article was published by the DAILY NATION on March 21, 2014

Fraud case against CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung’u adjourned to May

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Prof Njuguna Ndung’u has been given seven days by a court to file an additional affidavit in a petition he has lodged seeking to stop his prosecution over a Sh1.2 billion tender.

Nairobi resident Judge Mumbi Ngugi issued the directions after Ndungu’s lawyers asked for more time to file the document during the mention of the case Wednesday.

The Governor is represented by lawyers Donald Kipkorir and Cecil Miller who sought more time to prepare the documents.

Prof Ndung’u will also file his written submissions and serve them with the additional affidavit on the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Ethics andante Corruption Commission who have been named as respondents in the case.

Justice Ngugi further directed the DPP and EACC to respond to the Governor’s affidavit within seven days.

See Also: Bid for computers tender moves to court this week
The judge ordered the parties to appear for hearing on May 14. She extended orders stopping EACC and DPP from prosecuting the Governor pending the determination of his petition.

Prof Ndung’u is challenging a decision by the DPP, Keriako Tobiko giving EACC the go ahead to charge him over irregularities in a Sh1.2 billion security systems tender.

Prof Ndung’u accuses the DPP of infringing his fundamental rights. He argues in the petition that he was not involved in the tender process and that the tender was awarded by an authorised body. Ndung’u, who became central bank governor in 2007, argues that he is the Chief Executive Officer and is not involved in the tendering process.

The Governor maintains that the award of the tender to Horsebridge Ltd is outside his jurisdiction and he cannot be held culpable for it.

But the DPP in response to Prof Ndungu’s case says that he sanctioned the prosecution of the Governor because he found satisfactory evidence that he conferred a benefit to a company that won Sh1.2 billion security systems tender.

Prof Ndung’u says the contract was awarded to Horsbridge Ltd after the Public Procurement and Administrative Review Board ordered that it should be awarded in October 2012.

Tobiko says that there is sufficient evidence establishing criminal culpability on Prof Ndungu’s part.

The DPP argues that the Governor conferred a benefit to Horsebridge Ltd due to deliberate refusal by Prof Ndung’u to accept a unanimous and well reasoned advice given to him by the CBK external lawyer.

EACC in response, accuses Prof Ndung’u of ignoring in house legal advice and the counsel engaged by CBK recommending an appeal against the decision by the Public Procurement Administrative Board.

The Commission argues that the investigations conducted established that the Governor, as the accounting officer of CBK, wilfully failed to comply with the law on procurement procedures.

This article was published by THE STANDARD on Mach 20, 2014