A Makueni court has set free a Catholic priest accused of attempting to kill his colleague in March 2010.
Senior Resident Magistrate Richard Koech acquitted Fr. John Makewa for attempting to kill Fr. Fidelis Nzuki at the Makueni parish house.
The magistrate in his judgment cited lack of sufficient evidence and proceeded to declare the accused innocent.
“I do not find the accused guilty as charged and therefore declare him innocent,” he said.
Koech accused the police of bungling with the investigations and noted that the fact that the accused took Fr.Nzuki to the hospital and visited him severally when he was admitted was enough to prove the accused innocence.
Immediately, the priest was declared innocent, his supporters who had accompanied him to the court broke out in song and dance.
Fr. Makewa was initially charged in Makueni court in 2010 for shooting and attempting to kill Fr. Nzuki for unknown reasons, a charge that the accused denied.
In his defense, the accused said that robbers who had invaded the parish house at dawn on the material day shot and injured Fr. Nzuki.
This is the second time the case is being heard after the accused successfully appealed in Machakos High Court after a Tawa court sentenced him to seven years in jail for the crime.
The accused lawyer Fred Nemisi lauded the judgment saying that his client has been vindicated.
“It has been a long journey for my client and we are happy that this court has finally delivered justice,” he said.
One the accused supporters Albanus Mutisya extolled the court for acquitting the accused.
“The father has suffered enough for those years and we are happy that God has finally answered our prayers,” he said.
The complainant Fr. Nzuki declined to talk journalist, instead got into his car, and sped off after the judgment perhaps irked by the outcome.
The much awaited judgment has brought to an end a case that has put priesthoods on test. One would wonder why a priest would want to kill a colleague.
Of great interest would be whether the Catholic Church will reinstate the once powerful and influential priest.