BY SAM ALFAN.
High court has issued an injunction against Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria from defaming Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli.
Justice Mabeya issued the orders after Six top Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) officials moved to court seeking orders to restrain the cabinet secretary and five politian from linking them to the murder of slain Kabete MP George Muchai.
The official sued Labour minister Kazungu Kambi and three MPs over remarks linking them to the murder of Kabete MP George Muchai.
Francis Atwoli Rajab Mwondi, Rebecca Nyathogora, Francis Wangara and Joseph Nyabiya want the court to stop the Labour CS and the three legislators from using any defamatory words against them following remarks that they were behind the murder of Mr Muchai.
Mr Kambi has been sued alongside MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu), Francis Waititu (Juja) and Alice Ng’ang’a for alleging that the Cotu top six officials killed the Kabete MP,
The allegedly defamatory statements were made at the late Kabete MP’s funeral held at his Kamulu home.
“The defendants did allege that Cotu six top most officials who have a case with Muchai are responsible for his death. The said words were understood to mean that I am a criminal and a person who leads a gang of thieves and murderous who killed the late Mr Muchai,” Mr Atwoli said.
The Kabete MP was shot dead on February 8, on the Kenyatta Avenue-Uhuru Highway roundabout alongside his driver and two bodyguards.
Mr Atwoli added that Mr Kambi falsely accused him of fleecing Cotu’s coffers, which are replenished by workers’ monthly contributions.
The Cotu officials claim that the comments have affected their personal and professional lives, want the High Court to stop Mr Kambi, Mr Kuria, Mr Waititu and Ms Ng’ang’a from further damaging their reputations.
“While issuing the said defamatory statements, the defendants intended the same to be broadcast to the public and ought to have known that the same would be consumed by my family, clients, friends and professional colleagues who hold me in high esteem,” Mr Atwoli said.
Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi on Saturday said he had already recorded a statement with the police regarding the death of Kabete MP George Muchai.
He said he stands by the statements he made at the funeral of Mr Muchai, where he linked the death to disputes in the Central Organisation of Trade Union.
“After Mr Muchai’s death, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations came to my offices at NSSF Building and took my statement,” he said, adding that he would not hesitate to record another statement if more information was needed from him.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who had sensationally claimed that he knew who killed Mr Muchai, said he had not recorded any statement with the police but was ready to do so.
“It is pretty obvious who the killers are… We are ready to share the information with the police, but do they really need that kind of help?” he said, adding, “We are waiting for those at the top of COTU leadership to sue us, but we will not let Kenyans die in vain.”
The two, together with MPs Alice N’gan’ga (Thika) and Francis Waititu (Juja) said during Mr Muchai’s funeral in Kamulu on Friday that investigations should not ignore the fights between Mr Muchai and other Cotu officials.
former Westlands MP Fred Gumo defended COTU boss Francis Atwoli against claims that he had a hand in the killings.
Speaking in Trans Nzoia, Mr Gumo instead asked the police to arrest leaders who are perpetuating the allegations — led by Mr Kambi.
“The Cabinet Secretary wants to use Mr Muchai’s death to silence Mr Atwoli’s spirited fight for workers’ rights in the country,” he said at the burial of Sebastian Namwamba at Wekhonya village, Trans Nzoia.
The former minister said the accusations were a well-hatched plot by a few individuals who are not comfortable with Mr Atwoli’s trade unionism and want him shut up.
Mr Gumo also called on Luhya politicians not to remain mum when Mr Atwoli was being attacked.
Separately, Cherang’any MP Wesley Korir poked holes in the costly CCTV surveillance system in Nairobi, terming it a white elephant for failing to record the murder.
The matter will be heard on 2 of March 2015 for further directions.