Muthama sues Mutua for defamation
Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama has sued Governor Alfred Mutua for portraying him as a fraudster through an advertisement placed in local newspapers.
Mr Muthama claimed that the advert which the governor had asked members of the public to inform him of any corrupt official in his county government, was placed in the local newspapers as an act of malice as well as bad faith.
Mr Muthama accused Mr Mutua of using the advert as an avenue to act on his political rivals without a party verifying information which he could receive privately following the announcement in newspapers on January 22.
Although Mr Muthama is not the only one mentioned in the said advert, he alleged, through his lawyer John Khaminwa, that Mr Mutua had an ulterior motive with the kind of information he would receive from members of the public he had appealed to.
The Senator wants Mr Mutua barred from receiving or manipulating any information following the advert in local dailies.
He argues that if Mr Mutua is allowed to privately receive information as advertised and act on it his political career would be gravely affected.
“It is clear to me from the wording of the advert is deliberate in that the Governor seeks to defame me and tarnish my good name and reputation for personal gain,” said Mr Muthama.
Besides the governor, he has sued the county government and listed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission as an interested party.
According to Mr Muthama, the advert was placed in newspapers using the county government funds stating that the Senator was abetting corrupt practices at the expense of his position.
He further alleged that words used in the advert were offensive and defamatory and that Mr Mutua was taking over powers of the anti-grafts body.
He also claimed that he had asked Mr Mutua through his lawyer who wrote a demand letter to the governor, to make an apology over that advert but no response was received.
The advert mentions Machakos deputy governor Bernard Kiala, cabinet ministers to the county government, the Member of Parliament, government officers working in the county, board members, directors, accountants and engineers.
Mr Mutua had appealed to the people of his county to contact him privately and share with him information of any of the above listed whom they believe have participated in any way in corruption in a bid to enhance transparency in delivery of services.
High Court judge Weldon Korir directed the copies of the suit be given to the sued parties and the case to be heard on February 20.