Awiti, Magwanga supporters clash in Homa Bay court

Tuesday November 14 2017

Homa Bay High Court

Lawyer Charles Kanjama briefs former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga (centre) and his running mate in the Homa Bay High Court on November 14, 2017 during the hearing a petition by Mr Magwanga challenging the election of Governor Cyprian Awiti. Supporters of both politicians clashed in court disrupting proceedings. PHOTO | BARACK ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More by this Author

The hearing of a petition challenging the election of Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti was adjourned for more than 30 minutes after supporters of two opposing groups clashed.

Governor Awiti's supporters of and those of former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga fought outside the Homa Bay High Court Tuesday morning.

Mr Magwanga, who unsuccessfully competed against Mr Awiti in the August 8 polls, is challenging the governor's win.

On Tuesday, a war of words began after each group consisting mainly youths accused the other of barring them from accessing the court where the hearing was taking place.

"You can't block us from getting into the court because this is a public institution. We'll enter by force," one of the youths was heard shouting.


The angry youths overpowered security guards and entered the court compound where they started shouting at each other.

Efforts by the security guards who were manning the gate to intervene did not bear fruit.

A few minutes later, the youths began verbal exchanges. The situation turned worse after Mr Magwanga's lead lawyer, Charles Kanjama, stood in court Mr Awiti's supporters jeering him while those supporting Mr Magwanga cheered him.

A similar verbal exchange was witnessed when Awiti's lead lawyer, Tom Ojienda, arrived in the court. Lawyer Kanjama then requested Justice Joseph Karanja to order their clients to talk to their supporters so that they keep calm.

Mr Kanjama said the environment for hearing the proceedings were not conducive.


"Your honour, through your directive, can you adjourn this process for 30 minutes for our clients to restrain their supporters before we proceed due to unruly behaviour outside the court," Mr Kanjama said.

Mr Ojienda did not object but concurred with Mr Kanjama before the judge ordered for a break.

In his order, Justice Karanja warned both parties to restrain their supporters before the court resumed.

He said the supporters were interfering with court proceedings due to noise.

"I'm likely to move this court elsewhere if you cannot control your supporters. We all strain to hear what is said inside here because of unnecessary noise," he said.

The judge also told lawyers for both parties to tell their clients to talk to their supporters to avoid thronging the court.

"Next time we may be forced to allow limited access to court since the room is small and can't accommodate this number," he said.

Governor Awiti, his deputy Hamilton Orata and Mr Magwanga and his running mate, Joshua Orero, were present in court.

                                    1. 8196101083 2018-01-23
                                    2. 2172121082 2018-01-23
                                    3. 6616301081 2018-01-23
                                    4. 9711621080 2018-01-23
                                    5. 4071601079 2018-01-23
                                    6. 8575311078 2018-01-22
                                    7. 6504161077 2018-01-22
                                    8. 6475951076 2018-01-22
                                    9. 1312951075 2018-01-22
                                    10. 2746621074 2018-01-22
                                    11. 151871073 2018-01-22
                                    12. 4637141072 2018-01-22
                                    13. 5414891071 2018-01-21
                                    14. 392961070 2018-01-21
                                    15. 9593791069 2018-01-21
                                    16. 9326521068 2018-01-21
                                    17. 8204451067 2018-01-21
                                    18. 3174701066 2018-01-21
                                    19. 1649671065 2018-01-21
                                    20. 5257251064 2018-01-21