Rape case MP freed on cash bail
Imenti Central MP Gideon Mwiti was on Thursday released on a Sh100,000 cash bail after denying raping, intimidating and assaulting a woman in his Westlands, Nairobi, office a fortnight ago.
The MP pleaded not guilty to three counts relating to the Sexual Offences Act when he appeared before Milimani Resident Magistrate Edda Agade.
Ms Agade dismissed a request by the victim’s lawyers, Mr Harun Ndubi, Mr Mbaka Muchemi and Ms Teresa Omondi, to have Mr Mwiti remanded, claiming he is interfering with the investigations and would abscond trial.
“Bail is a constitutional right and I have agreed with the defence. There is nothing on record indicating that Mr Mwiti would abscond trial,” said Ms Agade.
“The allegations on intimidation impact negatively on him but I will hold his lawyer to his own words that he would not fail to appear in court whenever he is required,” said Ms Agade.
Mr Mwiti’s lawyers John Khaminwa and Henry Kurauka had pleaded with the magistrate to release him on bail on grounds that he is suffering from advance stage of diabetes.
They also claimed pressure had been mounted from undisclosed persons for the MP to face prosecution.
The lawyers want the claims investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions and other organs.
“No one has complained he is uncooperative. He has cooperated since the matter came to public and even sought legal representation. Besides, his wife asked me to do this for him, a reaction you don’t expect from a woman who gets sexual allegations against her partner in the streets,” said Dr Khaminwa.
But the victim’s lawyers objected claims by the defence that the victim is a street woman, maintaining that she is a professional and a married woman with a family.
“We will diligently use all the necessary facilities to ensure the matter is adequately investigated. We are not aware of any other quarters which have exerted pressure for his prosecution,” said Mr Muchemi.
The victim’s lawyers also dismissed an attempt by Mr Mwiti to deposit Sh200,000 in court as surety that he would not abscond trial, arguing that the ends of justice would not be met if that request was to be allowed.
The charge sheet stated that on March 21, Mr Mwiti intentionally and unlawfully obtained a consent by force and had sex with the victim at Tana Club on Woodvale Grove in Westlands, Nairobi.
It also stated that on the same date and venue, the MP intimidated the victim with intent to cause her to have sexual intercourse with him, yet he is not legally bound to do so, thereby causing her injuries.
The other charge stated that he unlawfully assaulted the woman and occasioned her actual body harm’.
The MP’s co-accused, Dr David Muchiri, is set to be charged yet again with aiding Mr Mwiti to commit the offence of rape while neglecting to use all reasonable means to prevent a felony.
The magistrate has ordered Dr Muchiri to appear in court on Wednesday to answer to the charges, the same date the MP is expected back in court.
The victim’s lawyers had asked the court to consider the bail after both accused persons have been charged.
Mr Mwiti’s lawyers were also ordered to provide the prosecution with his medical records.
If found guilty of rape and assault, the MP may be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 10 years separately.