National Assembly leader of majority Aden Duale summoned to court for defamation

Majority Leader Aden Duale. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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National Assembly leader of Majority Aden Daule has until the end month to enter an appearance or risk a judgment being issued against him in a defamation case filed against him at the Kericho high court. This is after Kericho governor Paul Chepkwony and his Bomet counterpart Isaac Ruto formally filed a defamation suit before the area resident judge Hedwig Ong’udi against the Garissa Township Member of Parliament (MP). Chepkwony and Ruto, through their advocate Peter Wanyama, filed the civil suit No 15 of 2015 after Duale allegedly ignored the governors’ demands for apology for alleged defamatory statements he made against them on August 14 during a fundraising at Borborwet Secondary school and Kaplutiet Primary in Belgut constituency in kericho.

“You are required within 15 days to enter an appearance in the suit. Should you fail to enter an appearance within the time mentioned the plaintiff may proceed with the suit and judgement may be given in your absence,” reads part of the court order. Governor Chepkwony and Ruto are listed as the first and second plaintiff respectively whereas Duale is named as the defendant in the suit. The particulars of the defamatory statements made against Duale state that while addressing the public in Swahili language, at Borborwet Secondary and Kaplutiet Primary School, Duale allegedly made false, malicious, destructive and defamatory statements against Chepkwony and Ruto.

He claimed that the governors had been roped by CORD leader Raila Odinga in a $1B political scheme which was to be allegedly funded by United States government through Okoa Kenya referendum initiative. The money, Duale claimed was to be used to “overthrow” deputy president William Ruto’s, himself (Duale) and other prominent United Republican Party (URP) rift valley region leaders politically. “The CORD leader had lied to Chepkwony and Ruto that during President Barack Obama’s visit to the country, he would have brought $1B to for Okoa Kenya referendum initiative and soon as he left, Chepkwony would receive Sh100M and Ruto a down payment of Sh50M to overthrow Deputy president William Ruto among other leaders,” said Duale.

In the court documents, Chepkwony and Ruto aver that the defamatory statements by their direct or indirect interpretation and by innuendo meant or were made to mean; they are corrupt individuals and greedy persons who will stop at nothing to enrich themselves. They also argue that despite being a Governor, Duale’s statements allegedly meant that they were mere commoners. “If the Defendant is not restrained, his actions will prejudice the enjoyment by the Plaintiffs of their right not to be defamed guaranteed under Article 33 of the Constitution of Kenya,” the governors argue in their plaints.

They are now seeking a permanent injunction restraining the Defendant from making defamatory statements against the Plaintiffs whether in their official or personal capacities. Chepkwony and Ruto also want the court to award them exemplary damages, general damages, aggravated damages, bear the costs of this suit and any other relief that the court may deem fit to grant.

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