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Kitui Priest acquitted of assaulting his school-girl lover not off the hook yet

Kitui High Court will on November 1 give direction on the hearing of an appeal against the acquittal of a former Catholic Priest, Japheth Mwove Kimanzi of a charge of causing grievous harm to a school girl, Veronica Musali Mutua, whom he had allegedly impregnated.

 Veronicah Musali (left) follows court proceedings during the hearing of her case against former Catholic priest Japheth Mwove Kimanzi. Mr Kimanzi (right) follows the court proceedings in June. He was later acquitted of the charges. At the centre is Kitui County director of public prosecutions Bonnie Okemwa in his office. Photo/MWINGI TIMES CORRESPONDENT

The County director of public prosecutions Mr Bonnie Okemwa who appealed against the setting free of the former man of the cloth by Kitui Chief Magistrate Stephen Mbungi on June 16 2021 has been given time to reinforce a memorandum of appeal by Justice Robert Limo.

Court records show that Okemwa on Wednesday last week during the mention of the appeal case asked Justice Limo for 14 days to make some vital additions to the memorandum of appeal to buttress the prosecution’s case against the acquittal of the priest.

Justice Limo consequently gave Okemwa 14 days leave to make the intended amendment and addition to the memorandum of appeal. The Judge further ruled that the case would consequently be mentioned before him on November 1 for further direction.

Mwove is out on bond term as dictated during the previous trial in the chief magistrate’s court until the appeal is fully heard and determined. The lower court had given the accused a Sh. 100,000 bond with a surety of a similar amount with an option of Sh. 15,000 cash bail.

Okemwa appears determined to achieve a vow he made soon after the acquittal of the priest on June 16, 2021 that he would pursue an appeal against the judgement until the priest was put behind bars.

Lover injured

The ex-priest was set free by the lower court for lack of compelling evidence in the charge that he had grievously injuring his lover whom they got into a relationship with in 2012 when the girl was a secondary school student at Mwambiu, Nuu ward of Kitui County. 

The Court also found no evidence to support the charge that he brutally attacked the child who was the result of their relationship with the schoolgirl lover. The offences were alleged to have occurred on night of November 16, 2015.

Emotions ran high and there was drama at the Kitui Law Courts on June 16, 2021 after the Catholic Priest who has since been excommunicated from the church was acquitted due to lack of solid evidence to warrant a conviction.

Immediately the judgement was read, the complainant broke down and leaned onto a wail outside the courtroom claiming that the court had denied her justice after Mbungi delivered the judgement setting free the man of cloth following a six-year trial.

A teary Musali lamented that the judgment had dealt her and her nine-year-old daughter a blow and appealed to FIDA and other human rights groups to come to their aid in their quest for justice.

“Since I was attacked with my daughter, my life took a nosedive. My daughter suffered permanent brain damage that led to her physical impairment including loss of sight, hearing and mobility,” she said amid sobs.

At the same time, Okemwa contested the court’s decision and vowed to appeal against it to ensure the priest eventually pay for his sins. What else did the court require to declare the priest guilty," Okemwa wondered.

Four days later on June 21, Okemwa made good his pledge and filed a memorandum of appeal before Justice Limo and a bid to find justices for Musali and her child.



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