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By NDUNGU GACHANE
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Murang’a County Government Executive Member for Water and Irrigation Paul Macharia has been charged with robbery with violence at a Murang’a court.

The minister was charged that on August 27 he jointly with others, he robbed Eston Gathima Sh13,450 at Kiawambeu Treatment Plant and beat him.

He denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Antony Mwichigi.

Through his lawyer Ndegwa Mbui, the accused protested the charges describing them as trumped up charges accusing the prosecution of using the criminal justice system to settle a civil matter.

“There is a pending civil case matter between Murang’a Water and Sewerage Company and Murang’a County Government but prosecution want to use a criminal justice system to settle a civil matter.

The defence also urged the court to admit the Minister with reasonable bail and bond terms saying that he was not arrested but availed himself to the police.

“My client is an employee of Murang’a County Government and his jurisdiction is in the county and by availing himself to the police, he manifested good faith and his commitment to corporate with the bond terms,” Mr Mbui told the court.

His application to have his client was opposed by the complainant lawyer Theophilus Kamwaro who told the court that the accused could use his position to interfere with witnesses.

”Given that the accused is charged with a capital offense, this court should give him a tough bail to reflect the seriousness of the offense which must require him not to interfere with the witnesses,” he said.

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However, the Principal Magistrate downplayed the complainant lawyer’s assertions ruling that bail and bond terms was a constitutional right saying the suspect was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He said should the witnesses felt threatened they were required to liaise with the prosecution and raise the matter in court.

“It is the constitutional right for the accused to be admitted with bail and the law stipulates that they are innocent until proven guilty, I therefore rule that the accused be released with a bond of Sh500000 and a surety of the same or a cash bail of Sh200000,’ he ruled.

The matter will be mentioned on November 17 when the prosecution is expected to consolidate the case with others who had been charged over the same offense separately.

They are Alex Mbote and Stepehen Chege who are Governor Mwangi Wa Iria lieutenants

The Minister is also facing other charges of assault during the same day when the governor and his supporters stormed Kiawambeu treatment plant.

They had gone at the treatment plant to reconnect water which had been switched off after Muwasco employees went on strike when the employees clashed with the county government officials.



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