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Poll loser jailed two years without fine option for death threats against winner

A 2022 election loser has been sentenced to two years in prison without an option of a fine for threatening to kill a sitting member of the county assembly (MCA).

Dennis Wambua Masavu was convicted by Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul for threatening to kill Kiteta Kisau Ward Representative Dennis Kioko Mainga.

Masavu, who suffered a double defeat at the polls and in the court, vowed to end Mainga’s life.

“I cannot concede, it is either the current MCA dies or I die. Because my votes cannot be stolen and then I’m ordered to pay someone Sh1 million, it’s not possible,” Masavu warned.

Masavu was charged with threatening to kill Mainga on March 11, 2023, at Ngoni village in Mbooni East Constituency, Makueni County.

In her ruling, Ms Abdul noted that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) office in Nairobi investigated Masavu after local police detectives failed to act despite several reports from the MCA.

Mainga defeated Masavu in the 9 August 2022 general election.

Masavu challenged Mainga’s victory at the Tawa Law Courts where the election petition was dismissed with costs and he was ordered to pay Sh1 million in costs.


After the double defeat, Masavu issued the death threats while attending a clan meeting and a dowry ceremony. He blamed 23 family members for not voting for him and lost the seat, but vowed to ensure there was a by-election.

Attendees at these events, who were family members of Masavu, reported the threats to Ngoni police station.

“Masavu lost the seat to Mainga who was duly elected by the people,” said Ms Abdul.

She added: “He lost the election petition he had filed again. This obviously made him very bitter and he threatened the complainant (Mainga).”

Ms Abdul said although the words were uttered in the absence of the complainant, he had received the information.

She said the seven witnesses who testified before her corroborated each other.


“Relatives of Masavu who attended the family meeting confirmed that the accused uttered these death threats,” Ms Abdul ruled.

She said the witnesses did not take the threats lightly because Masavu was a brave person who would carry out his threats.

The magistrate said Masavu had vowed to poison the MCA and then there would be a by-election in Kiteta Kisau ward.

Ms Abdul dismissed Masavu’s defence, saying it was a mere denial.

“I find that the elements of the offence have been proved to the required standard and beyond reasonable doubt,” Ms Abdul ruled.

She convicted Masavu under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code, saying “he is guilty as charged of the offence of threatening to kill Mainga”.

In sentencing Masavu, the magistrate said the offence was serious and required imprisonment because threatening the life of a person could not be condoned by the court.

He was given 14 days to appeal the sentence.