Tana River Senator Bule charged with ethnic contempt

By: PHILIP MUYANGA

Tana River Senator Ali Abdi Bule was Monday charged with ethnic contempt and incitement to violence and disobedience of the law.

Mr Bule who appeared before Mombasa principal magistrate Diana Mochache denied the charges and was released on a Sh1 million bond with a surety of similar amount or an alternative of a Sh500,000 cash bail.

He paid the cash bail and left the court cells to await hearing of the case on December 9, 10 and 11.

‘TRIVIAL ISSUE’

The magistrate explained that the strict bond terms were as a result of the senator’s behaviour in court since he kept on smiling as the charges were being read to him.

Ms Mochache barred the accused from visiting Kanagoni area, said to be hosting internally displaced persons who resulted from the matter in court.

Mr Bule was further directed not to comment in public or conduct interviews with the media in regard to the case, failure to which the bond terms would be cancelled.

“The offence is serious, we have read (in the press) politicians might take the country into chaos, we have a duty to protect (the country),” said Ms Mochache in her ruling.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti, though he had not opposed the bond, wanted the court to impose strict conditions on the senator.

Mr Muteti had urged the court to take notice of what is happening in the country saying a message ought to be sent to the “likes of the accused.”

“The accused in his public appearances should steer away from discussing the issue (before court),” said the assistant DPP.

HATE SPEECH

Mr Bule is alleged to have said: “Nitahakikisha wagiriama wote watarudi mahali wametoka (I will ensure all Giriama’s go back to where they came from),” among other utterances.

The offences are said to have been committed on July 15 at Hurara centre, Garsen Sub-county, Tana River.

A warrant for his arrest had been issued last week to have him attend court to plead to the charges.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION