Kabazi Ward Representative Peter Mbae has been released on Sh200,000 bond in the case of incitement to violence, malicious damage of property, disobedience of the law and arson following chaos in Solai, Nakuru County.
Mr Mbae and eight other people were arrested after the Wednesday incident in which police engaged residents in running battles after they protested against the cancellation of their meeting with human rights activists. The officers used tear gas to break the demonstrations.
The MCA’s eight co-accused were also released on the same term in court on Friday.
They were all asked to secure the bonds with sureties of the same amount in the ruling on a police application for them to be detained for 10 days.
Nakuru Senior Resident Magistrate Yvonne Khatambi also ordered the nine suspects to report every Wednesday to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Rongai.
Ms Khatambi further prohibited the MCA from holding or addressing public gatherings. He was also directed not to contact the potential witnesses in the case.
The suspects were also barred from accessing Solai until the probe is completed.
Mr Mbae and the others spent the second night in police custody ahead of their court appearance on Friday.
While requesting the 10-day detention, assistant superintendent Dorcas Cherui had said that police had crucial information that would lead to the arrest of more suspects.
In her ruling, Ms Khatambu dismissed the application citing lack of sufficient evidence.
“The applicant has demonstrated the importance of conducting further investigations but failed to provide compelling reasons to warrant the denial of bail,” she said.
The accused’s lawyer Kipkoech Ng’etich earlier opposed the police application, alleging police abuse of power.
The lawyer also claimed the charges were politically instigated and meant to intimidate his clients whom he said were victims of the May 9, 2018, Solai dam tragedy.
In court on Friday, the magistrate took issue with police, saying they abuse their right to detain suspects pending investigations, using it instead to punish them.
She regretted that many such applications are filed by police but withdrawn later.
“It may appear that many are the times police officers are on a wild goose chase. If the right remains unchecked, it will be subject to abuse,” she said.
The case will be mentioned on February 11 for plea-taking.