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Jumwa and co-accused in murder case are 'lovers', court told
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|Jumwa and co-accused in murder case are 'lovers', court told by Kenyans247(1): Mon 26, October, 2020 10:23am|
Malindi legislator Aisha Jumwa and her aide, who are facing murder charges over a man’s death in 2019, have been dating for the past six years, court records show.
A pre-bail assessment report indicates that the relationship between Ms Jumwa and her bodyguard Geoffrey Otieno Okuto mutated into a romantic one over the years as they worked together.
"Enquiries established that Ms Jumwa divorced her first husband more than 20 years ago. For the past six years, she has been in a stable relationship with Mr Otieno, who is her co-accused in this matter," says the report.
It also indicates that Mr Otieno is married with two children.
The report dismissed allegations that he separated from his wife Judith Awinja, whom he married in 2009.
"It was established that this information is not true. He is a father of two children aged eight and five years respectively," says the report.
"The accused caters for his family's needs and has maintained close and regular contact with his wife. His wife is unemployed although she occasionally sells beauty products to supplement the family income."
It adds that Mr Otieno's wife is aware that he was first employed as Ms Jumwa’s personal assistant before their relationship became a romantic one.
While in Malindi, police say, Mr Otieno stays at Ms Jumwa's house and while in Nairobi, he stays in Lavington estate. They say he has been living with the lawmaker for the past six years.
"He has not expressed any intentions of relocating to any other house," says the report.
Mr Otieno worked as a personal assistant to former Rangwe MP Eng Philip Okundi between 2004 and 2005 before relocating to the Democratic Republic of Congo to work for a non-governmental organisation.
Between 2006 and 2007, he worked for the then Marakwet West MP David Sudi. He then joined former Starehe MP Margeret Wanjiru’s team as constituency manager between 2008 and August 2009.
In 2010, he joined the Dr Evans Kidero Centre’s political desk and helped steer his gubernatorial campaigns until his election as Nairobi governor.
The report says Mr Otieno worked as a political attache in the office of the Nairobi governor until 2017 when he went for the Hospital Ward MCA seat but failed to clinch a nomination.
He has been working as Ms Jumwa's PA and security manager since 2016.
A favourable social assessment report from Ganda Location Chief Batholomew Kitunga saw Ms Jumwa secure bond after spending four days in custody over the death of Ngumbao Jola, an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporter.
Mr Kitunga said in the report tabled in court that he did not foresee a threat to peace and security should the legislator be released on bond.
“The accused has been attending funerals and other social gatherings in the victim's village with no incident,” he noted.
The court was also informed that Mr Jola’s family feels considers the risk of re-victimisation or retaliation low as the offence was committed over a year ago and thus
It further heard that the MP had not made any efforts to initiate a reconciliation process or even hinted at retribution, so she had not been in touch, either directly or indirectly, with Jola’s family.
“None of the relatives expressed any need for seclusion orders. They, however, expressed the need for the court to consider issuing orders for the accused not to attempt, either directly or indirectly, to interfere with witnesses,” the report said.
The report also indicated that Ms Jumwa and her co-accused did not know the deceased in person prior to the incident so there was no likelihood of meeting his family.
The legislator was described as a philanthropist who has assisted members of her community through empowerment initiatives in her time as an elected leader.
“Socially, the accused enjoys a solid and cordial relationship with community members. She co-exists well with the locals and her safety in the community is not at risk if granted bail,” the report said.
In an affidavit, the MP told the court that she will not use her societal influence to interfere with the case and witnesses and will demonstrate that she is not a flight risk.
The court relied on this report to determine the accused’s suitability for release.
Mombasa High Court Judge Njoki Mwangi on Friday released Mr Jumwa on a Sh3 million bond with a surety of the same amount or Sh4 million cash bail.
Mr Otieno was granted release on Sh1 million bond or Sh1.5 million cash bail.
The two were also asked to submit their passports to the court.
“The accused persons are at liberty to apply for temporary release of the documents when the need arises,” said the judge.
She explained that the prosecution did not provide adequate evidence to prove Ms Jumwa and Mr Otieno were a threat to the victim’s family and that they are likely to interfere with witnesses.
Judge Mwangi also noted that the two have fixed abodes, where they can be found when needed.
She further said it was not enough for the prosecution to merely state that Ms Jumwa wields immense influence due to her position as a member of Parliament.
"The court holds the view that Ms Jumwa should not be denied bail because she wields immense influence. There are no compelling reasons to convince this court to deny the accused persons bond," said the judge.
The court further noted that the MP and her aide have been free since the incident occurred last year and that if she had the intention to intimidate or interfere with the witnesses, she would have done so before the charges were preferred against them.
The case will be mentioned on November 3.
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