Mathew Lempurkel, a former Member of Parliament for Laikipia North, has been prosecuted again in a case where he is suspected of making inciting remarks on television.
This happened after the prosecution added a new count to the charge sheet. He is now facing two counts of hate speech.
The former MP pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on Wednesday and was released on Sh150,000 cash bail.
According to the charge sheet, Lempurkel used threatening and abusive language targeting a certain ethnic group. The MP’s statements are thought to have inflamed ethnic tensions in Laikipia County.
The case will be mentioned on February 16 this year.
Count one alleges that the former lawmaker committed the offense on July 17, 2021, while appearing on a Maa TV television show.
Lempurkel was charged with hate speech in September of last year after allegedly referring to one of the country’s communities as “those people whose feet are infested with jiggers”.
He added, “All conservancies and ranches within Laikipia belong to the Maa community, and that the investors may keep the land, but the grass on those lands belongs to the Maa community.”
He pleaded not guilty and was released on Sh150,000 cash bail.
Lempurkel was in December 2021 released from jail after he was found guilty of assaulting nominated MP Sarah Korere in 2016.
Senior Principal Magistrate Hellen Onkwani found the former legislator guilty of assault and sentenced him to one year with no alternative to pay a fine.
“The court has considered that there are many issues of violence in the country and also fact that the accused is a first offender,” she said.
He was jailed for a month and is out pending the appeal ruling on his assault case.