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MOMBASA

Court praises, frees man who 'blocked' Uhuru's motorcade

Curtis Otieno
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President Uhuru Kenyatta's convoy. [Source/ Robert Alai/Twitter]

A court in Mombasa has released a man accused of blocking President Uhuru Kenyatta's motorcade as the Head of State made his way to the Mombasa State House.

According to the prosecution, Collins Ochieng stood alongside Mama Ngina Drive displaying a peace placard with the intention of blocking the president and breaching peace on December 31.

The placard was an artistic depiction of Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga during their March 9, truce, complete with the inscription "The Golden Handshake, Amani, Umoja, Upendo na Ushirikiano".

Appearing before a courtroom on Wednesday after three days in police cells, he pleaded guilty to the charges.

However he argued that he simply sought to attract the President's attention with the aim of getting a job.

“I am still young, energetic and jobless so I don’t want to waste my time stealing from people or engaging in any criminal activity. I wanted him (President Kenyatta) to see the portrait so that from it he can help me to find a better job,” he defended himself before Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Erick Mutunga, as reported by Daily Nation.

Justice Mutunga dismissed state councel Shakwila Ayekwa's argument that the same amounted to offence.

He ruled that the accused committed no offence for carrying a placard with peaceful writings.

He released Ochieng' unconditionally terming him a patriotic citizen.

The judge ordered that the accused who is an artist be given back his placard which had been confiscated and presented as exhibit.

“The suspect was spreading a message of unity. The court therefore discharges him and orders that he be released unconditionally,” he said.

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