By Lorna Abuga.
When David Gikaria Mbugua appeared in court to face charges of “disposing solid and liquid waste on a public highway” last week, he made a plea that added to the growing rift between him and Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua. Although the two are allied to Jubilee they have constantly been at logger heads and one might actually think Gikaria is the official voice of opposition in the county.
Gikaria who is the Nakuru Town East M.P had been arraigned before Resident Magistrate Judicaster Nthuku on Wednesday on charges of disposing waste in areas that are not approved by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
According to the NEMA prosecutor, Moses Mburu the legislator had been a bad example after he spearheaded the dumping of crushed bottles and boxes of liquor collected from factories and depots raided in a crackdown on second generation alcohol on un-designated public land.
“He failed to give proper directions on the disposal of waste and as result making the environment hazardous and thereby endangering human lives.”
Two of these areas as is public knowledge are the main roundabout that Gate House Cigma Building and the KFA roundabout.
The first time M.P who is not new to controversy however declined to take plea claiming that the charge sheet was defective.
“I expected the charge sheet to be signed by the NEMA prosecutor owing to the fact they are the ones who have levied charges against me and not an official of the county government,”
he said raising queries on why an official of the Mbugua-led county government had signed the charge sheet.
Further he took issues with the court in which he had appeared terming it a “Municipal Court” and even threatening not to accept summons form it. Apparently the court is housed in within the building that houses Governor Kinuthia Mbugua’s office, an issue he was not at peace with.
“The court is “illegal and unconstitutional” because it is run by the county government and thereby I have no confidence that it will handle the matter fairly,”
he argued asking the Magistrate to let his case be handled by another court which is not “associated with the county government” which he accused of conspiring to have him charged.
The Magistrate however dismissed him saying that she is a judicial officer employed by the judiciary and not by the county government as he had alleged. He was released on a cash bail as his case was set for hearing on October 19.
Although Gikaria has denied having any interest in the Nakuru gubernatorial seat, observers think by being in constant clash with the incumbent, he is indirectly testing the waters.