Like sages say, the law is an ass! And just like the proverbial donkey with its reputation for stubbornness and difficulty to handle, the law can at times be stupid.
As if to demand some respect and logic from the law, a furious elderly man, believed to be in his 80s, caused drama as he lashed out at a youthful prosecution witness at the Kakamega Law Court, bringing business at the tribunal to a standstill.
The old geezer got carried away and expressed his anger by threatening to curse the arresting officer, accusing him of defaming and disgracing him over the nasty nature of the accusations he levelled against him.
Fact that Mwangangi Ponda, the youthful prosecution witness who is believed to be in his 30s, was merely reading out recorded statements of the attempted defilement did not stop Samuel Odida from loudly chanting incantation, making as if to jinx his (Ponda’s) life.
“Riswa! You will go to hell! How dare you lie about an old man,” yelled Odida, even as he was threatened with more charges for “disturbing peace in the courtroom”.
The unamused Odida went on to make invocations to his ancestors, warning Ponda to have some respect for elders like him or else get his life jinxed for making such wild allegations.
The officer told the court the elderly man had around midday of September 7, 2014 lured two girls aged three and four to his shop with sweets and mandazi and tried to access their private parts using his finger.
“The girls were playing near Odida’s kiosk when he beckoned them into his shop with promise to gift them with mandazi and candies. He then tried to penetrate their privates using his finger in vain.
After which he gave the children mandazi and candies under strict instructions not to tell anyone what he did to them,” testified Ponda.
The children, however, reported Odida to their guardians who recorded a statement at Mukhonje police station where Ponda was stationed. “Young man, don’t joke with elders. You actually believe I can do such a thing? At my age? You must be out of your mind,” scoffed Odida, as he wagged a threatening finger at Ponda.
Court in stitches
The police officer replied, insisting that he was following the law and that his was not a figment of imagination but a true account of what the guardians said their children reported to them while recording the statement.
The old man, who on several occasions angrily interjected as the arresting officer testified, turned into a nuisance by engaging in all manner of side shows, leaving the court in stitches.
“Can you prove that I committed that act? Where is the evidence? What were the colours of the panties you say I undressed them? Can you produce them?” angrily asked Odida, before wondering loudly how possible his big fingers would penetrate such small kids and (they would) still walk normally!
After the officer confessed he lacked such evidence at the moment, the prosecutor asked to know if the accused had anything left to say.
“I am done, but the officer should be wary of giving fake evidence like the other seven witnesses who don’t know what they were saying. He runs the risk of getting cursed and inviting bad luck in his life for lacking respect for the elderly,” he responded, leaving those in attendance laughing their heads off.
Seven other witnesses, including the guardians of the children with a doctor, had testified. The officer was the last witness leading to the close of the prosecution case, where the court ruled Odida had a case to answer.
He said he was ready to defend himself through two witnesses; his wife and a village elder. The court gave the accused up to March 23 to present witnesses in his defence before a verdict is given.