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Monday, 19 March 2012

Editorial Comment: Feb- March 2012

Graft allegations in Fr Makewa
case need to be investigated

SINCE the case against Fr John Wambua Makewa opened in Wote in some three years ago, The Anchor has dutifully reported the proceedings each time the parties participate in the trial.Before the incident became a court matter, it was The Anchor that broke the news that a strange gun drama had taken place at the Parish residence of the priest in charge at the time, Fr John Makewa.

By the time we reported the matter for the first time, it was a good two months after the incident took place and police were dragging their feet in the investigations as the pursued theories that Fr Fidelis Nzuki was shot by thugs who had allegedly invaded the parish house on the night in question.
During the night, a shooting incident took place that left Fr Nzuki for dead as it was claimed that the shots came from alleged attackers. But police investigations at the time pointed out that there were no invaders- and evidence already adduced in court say as much.
After weeks of pressure and shoving, Fr Makewa was suspended for two years as the catholic leadership awaited the police do the honourable thing- prosecute the priest with attempted murder.
The case has been gong in before Makueni Principal Magistrate Mr Joseph Karanja with adjournments that could not have been avoided until all prosecution witnesses testified and he st a date for determining if he would put Fr Makewa on his defense.
Without prejudicing the proceedings, the evidence has been so tight that the defense, on the very same day Karanja was setting a date for a ruling, Defense lawyer for Fr Makewa made anticipatory remarks that his client would be put to his defense( meaning he has case to answer). Verbatim proceedings we have run elsewhere in this paper attest to this, with Karanja cautioning the lawyer to await the court’s decision over the matter.
But shortly afterwards, Karanja threw a bombshell that there were rumours or allegations of impropriety on his part and more specifically that he had been financially compromised.
He tried to get reactions from te parties and they all claimed ignorance, only getting an apology from Mr Mwagambo on behalf of Fr Makewa. It means that Karanja had to die with the allegations he had made against himself- or better still, cause to have an inquiry into grave allegations that now stand to undermine the integrity of the trial, if not that of Karanja himself.
He concluded the day’s events by setting a new date when he would decided whether to bolt out of the case or deliver his ruling. But when the date came, Karanja abandoned the bribery allegations. He discovered a new excuse that was never aprty to the case: The Anchor, describing it as having a “ dubious reputation”
This description of the paper that has kept citizens informed of the proceedings-including events about corruption is as unfortunate as the allegations brought around by Mr Karanja himself.  By bolting out of the case, Karanja seemingly does not want the allegations pursued yet they ought to be.

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