Home General Kiambu MCA risks losing car over Ruto photo in army attire

Kiambu MCA risks losing car over Ruto photo in army attire

by kenya-tribune
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By MARY WAMBUI
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ELVIS ONDIEKI

By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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The law that Witeithie MCA Julius Macharia and his driver George Ngugi are alleged to have breached attracts a maximum fine of Sh5,000 that may be accompanied by imprisonment of up to six months.

The MCA, who spent Monday night at Juja Police Station cells, has been driven to Thika where he will be charged Tuesday morning

Section 3(a) of the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act bars members of the public from using the Kenyan flag and other government imagery unless given the go-ahead by the Interior ministry.

“No person shall, except with the written permission of the Minister … use any specified emblem, specified name or specified likeness, or any colourable imitation thereof, in furtherance of, or display the same as an advertisement for, any trade, business, calling or profession,” says the section of the law that the two are alleged to have flouted.

The Act has been in effect since December 10, 1963 — two days before Kenya officially got her independence.

It was designed to ensure respect of the flag, national anthem, coat of arms among other State symbols.

The legislation has been modified a number of times since then, and in 2012, a revision was done with regard to motor vehicles.

“Any person who flies the national flag on any motor vehicle shall be guilty of an offence,” said the 2012 amendment that came by way of subsidiary legislation, adding that the exempt parties are the President, the Deputy President, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Cabinet Secretaries and the Attorney-General.

Witeithie MCA Julius Macharia

Witeithie MCA Julius Macharia arrives at the Thika Law Courts on May 28, 2019. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

As per the crime report pertaining to Monday evening’s arrest, one of the allegations police raised against the MCA and his aide is the displaying of graphics of the coat of arms, and the national flag.

The 2012 amendment also barred the display of the Kenyan flag on civilian installations.

“Any person who flies or displays the national flag on any premises, not being government premises, on any occasion other than a public holiday or such other occasion as may be notified by the President shall be guilty of an offence,” it says.

The Act also gives police the powers to seize property and to enter private facilities without a court warrant — and even to use force.

“If a police officer has reasonable cause to believe that something which has been used, displayed, manufactured or imported contrary to this Act is to be found on any premises, he may require the person in charge or appearing to be in charge of the premises to allow him to enter the premises and to afford him all reasonable facilities for a search thereof, and if entry cannot within a reasonable period be so obtained the officer may without warrant enter the premises (using force if necessary) and search therein,” says the Act.

Offenders under the Act face a fine not exceeding Sh5,000 or a jail term not exceeding six months or both.

What is more intriguing, however, is the fact that a party found guilty will lose their property to the State, which means the MCA risks losing the Toyota Hiace vehicle.

“A magistrate … shall order it to be forfeited if he is satisfied that it has been used, displayed, manufactured or imported contrary to this Act, or else shall order it to be restored to the person from whom it was seized,” says the Act.

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