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Friday, 31 Mar 2017 19:15 EAT
The assault case involving Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma and his parliamentary opponent Washington Ogaga was heard today before Senior Principal Magistrate Mr Thomas Obuto who allowed an additional charge on Mr Kaluma.
The MP was accused of assaulting Mr Ogaga on November 27, 2016 during the rally held at Homa Bay County Stadium that was to be addressed by ODM party leader Raila Odinga.
In his prayers, Mr Ogaga told the court that it was the MP who first assaulted him with kicks to keep him at bay from the podium as his supporters were surging closer carrying his banner. “Kaluma began assaulting me when he got infuriated because my supporters were moving with my banner near the podium where we were seated. I wrestled him down to defend myself,” Mr Ogaga said.
The aspirant also narrated to the court how he hid under a chair after gunshots that ensued during the confrontation and how in the confusion he saw other leaders in the dais scamper for their safety.
But Mr Kaluma through his lawyer Samuel Nyauke denied the allegations, saying what Mr Ogaga alleged was untrue and aimed at projecting the accused (Kaluma) in negative light. “Ogaga is lying to this court because he might have been injured by the objects on which he fell during the incident,” Mr Nyauke said.
The Magistrate allowed the prosecution to add an additional charge on Mr Kaluma for refusing that his fingerprints be taken by police. But advocate Nyauke argued that the MP is a state officer hence his fingerprints were “everywhere”.
“My client is a state officer whose fingerprints are everywhere hence there is no need of the taking the fingerprints for the purposes of this case,” he said.
However, Prosecutor Dennis Shabola argued that Mr Kaluma could not purport to be directing the court on its decisions to be executed. The case was adjourned till May 2, when four witnesses are expected to testify.
The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Homa Bay County