By Calvin Osiemo
Businessman cum-political analyst Tony Gachoka is a free man following High Court’s order. Justice Weldon Korir made the ruling ordering the release of Mr. Gachoka who was being held in the Industrial Area prisons. Mr. Gachoka failed to raise the Ksh. 2 million fine in a contempt of court case in which together with TV talk show host Jeff Koinange discussed businessman Jimi Wanjigi, his brother Sani Mbui Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies Limited. Justice Weldon said that Mr. Gachoka has since filed an appeal and therefore keeping him in jail will be overtaken by events
“Mr. Gachoka had already approached this court seeking a review of the contempt-of-court proceedings, which application will be overtaken by events if he is in prison. I therefore order his immediate release pending (the) determination of his appeal,” ruled Korir
Principal Magistrate Maisy Chesang found Koinange and Gachoka guilty of contempt of court and were ordered to pay a fine amounting to Ksh. 2 million each or serve a six month jail term. However, Gachoka did not manage to raise the fine leading to his imprisonment. Jeff Koinange raised the Ksh. 2 million fine and also Standard Group company secretary Carol Cheruiyot who had been enjoined in the case raising a similar amount
Businessman Jimi Wanjigi, his brother Sani Mbui Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies Limited had obtained a court order in March barring Mr. Koinange, KTN and the Standard Media Group from publishing or broadcasting defamatory sentiments against the said complainant. However Jeff Koinange invited Mr. Gachoka to his TV show ‘Jeff Koinange Live’ (JKL) and discussed about the complainant linking them to the Anglo Leasing Scandal. This prompted the businessman to file a contempt of court case against the two with the judge issuing a warrant of arrest.
On 13th May, Mr. Koinange was released on a cash bail of Ksh. 100,000 while Mr. Gachoka was released on a Ksh. 50,000 and ordered to appear in court the following week. In a turn of events, Mr. Koinange failed to appear in court which led to a fresh warrant of arrest against him. He appeared in court and excused himself saying he had gone to attend a conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The earlier cash bail was forfeited and he was later released on a Ksh. 200,000 cash bail.