A driver and a conductor of a commuter bus in Nairobi, in which a 21 year old female passenger was stripped naked and sexually assaulted has been denied bail by a Nairobi court.
Senior Principal Magistrate Lucy Mbugua declined to grant them bond saying the accused are facing serious charges.
“ The nature and seriousness of the charges facing the accused persons apart from the punishment awaiting them if they are among the reasons the prosecution argued for a denial of bond,” she said Ms Mbugua.
The two will spend Christmas and New Year in custody after a court declined to grant them bond or a cash bill to secure their freedom pending their trial next year.
Nicholas Chege Mwangi and Meshack Chege Mwangi are accused on the nights of 19 and 20 of September 2014 at Millennium petrol station Githurai 44 within kasarani district within Nairobi county, jointly with others not before court robbed H.E.W of a mobile phone make Samsung galaxy grand valued at ksh 27,00,one bottle of perfume valued 15,000,one clutch bag valued at Kshs 1000,a make-up kit at Kshs 200 and a cash o 10,200 all valued at Ksh 41,700 and at or immediately before or immediately after the time of such robbery used actually violence to said H.E.W
They are further accused that on the same night at Millennium petrol station Githurai 44 within kasarani district jointly with others unlawfully manipulated their fingers in to the genital organs of H.E.W.
The accused Nicholas Chege and Meshack Mburu challenged her ruling through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui who said he would appeal the decision.
The prosecution yesterday opposed their release on bond stating that the punishment awaiting the suspects- a death penalty and a possible life sentence would scare them away from attending proceedings pending hearing and it determination by the trial court.
Prosecutor Duncan Ondimo said that safety of the suspects may not be guaranteed outside the court’s jurisdiction as the act had drawn public outrage after a video depicting the assault went viral on social media attracting international attention.
“There are enough compelling reasons to deny the accused persons bail more so in light of the aggravated nature of the offences they face” senior principal magistrate Lucy Mbugua said in a ruling today.
The magistrate added that a possible interference with witnesses and the undisclosed antecedents of the accused persons were other reasons she reached her decision.
“There are also the issue of public interest and the security of the accused persons which was alluded to,” she said.
The magistrate has also ordered that the complainant’s identity be concealed for the time being and that she may only be identified by her initials H.E.W.
She also said other application by the defence can be raised in the trial since it will be the right court to hear them.
Hundreds of protesters took to Nairobi streets to condemn the humiliating public stripping of three Kenyan women earlier last month.
The mobilization for the protest started through social media under the hashtag #MyDressMyChoice.
Protesters marched from Uhuru Park to the Embassava Sacco bus stage on Accra Road, where people alleged to be touts were earlier filmed ripping off a woman’s clothes for allegedly dressing indecently.
The Sacco officials, however, have denied that the people who stripped the woman were their employees and instead blamed lay bouts, whom they did not identify, for the act.
The case will be mentioned on January 15 for further directions.