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Kakamega businessman Cleophas Shimanyula gagged in Khalwale’s defamation suit

By Hilary Kimuyu February 20th, 2024 2 min read

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and his family have triumphed in round one of a legal battle against businessman Cleopas Malala in a defamation battle worth Sh1.5 billion.

The case is about remarks attributed to Mr Shimanyula following the death of Khalwale’s employee namely Kizito Moi Amukune.

Justice Janet Mulwa sitting at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi granted an interim injunction restraining Mr Shimanyula from publicly commenting on the matter, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Justice Mulwa further ruled that the matter be heard and determined at the High Court in Kakamega considering most of the events took place in the county.

“The plaintiff is also the Senator for Kakamega. In the interest of justice and the territorial jurisdiction of the court, I deem it expedient to transfer this suit to the Kakamega High Court for hearing and determination,” the court ruled.

She listed the matter for hearing on March 19.

The Senator, who is a seasoned politician in the country and a close ally of President William Ruto, recently sued Mr Shimanyula, a respected businessman with vast interests in transport and real estate, after the latter questioned the circumstances leading to the death of Khalwale’s employee.

Mr Moi was found dead in a cow shed at the politician’s home on January 28, 2024, and a post-mortem conducted by government pathologists confirmed he died of excessive bleeding from injustices inflicted by a bull.

Thus, the legislator has accused Mr Shimanyula, who is commonly referred to as ‘Toto’ in Kakamega town, of “maliciously and without justification, making defamatory statements accusing him of murdering Amukune”.

“The defendant (Shimanyula) showed a reckless disregard for the truth and engaged in a campaign to defame, discredit, and malign the Plaintiff’s reputation and cast aspersions on his leadership for personal gain or ulterior motives,” Khalwale said in the petition filed at the High Court in Nairobi.

Khalwale is also seeking to be paid damages of Sh200 million and an unconditional apology.

“A mandatory order that Defendant do publish an unqualified retraction of all defamatory statements and an unconditional apology to the Plaintiff and his family issued with similar prominence as the defamatory statements, acknowledging the falsity of the accusations and the harm caused to the Plaintiff’s reputation and integrity including but not limited to a whole page on a daily newspaper of national distribution,” he said through his lawyer Dunstan Omari.

Khalwale said he has been subjected to orchestrated attacks steered by the businessman with false and malicious accusations that he murdered his employee of 20 years.

Besides Khalwale’s defamation suit, the senator has instructed his lawyers to write a demand letter to his 3 surviving wives and 17 children.

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