Nandi Governor Stephen Sang has been charged with an additional charge of assault in a case in which he had been charged with malicious destruction of property and incitement over the uprooting of tea bushes at Kibwari estate in 2019.
Sang, who was charged afresh in a Kisumu court on Monday, pleaded not guilty to all the three charges before Senior Magistrate Berly Omolo.
Sang, armed with a power saw, was caught on camera cutting down tea bushes planted on the land said to have been grabbed.
In the Monday court session, the prosecutor, who had applied to review the governor’s charge sheet, told the court the locals who stormed the farm assaulted Jonah Kemboi, a farm manager, and caused injury to him.
The tea bushes damaged were valued at Ksh2 million.
The governor was freed on Ksh500,000 cash bail. The case will be mentioned on March 11.
While cutting the tea bushes in June 2019, the governor said that he was acting on complaints from members of the public who decried that the four acres of land reserved for the establishment of public utilities had been grabbed.
“Acting on the complaints from the public and having established ownership of the land held by the county in trust of the public, today I led the community in the recovery of four acres of land, reserved for the establishment of public utilities,” he noted.
In the video that went viral on social media, the governor was also captured roughing up a man at the tea plantations.
The residents who watched the events burst into song and dance to celebrate what they termed as a victory for the majority who they say had been barred from accessing the land.