By Patrick Mutisya and Brian Okoth.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has been directed to press new charges against Julius Wambua within one month, failure of which Wambua should be declared free unconditionally.
On Wednesday, December 16, Wambua was set free following a Machakos High Court verdict to quash his life imprisonment.
Justice George Odunga trashed all sentences by a Kithimani Magistrate’s Court and a High Court’s decision to uphold the lower court’s verdict and ordered that Wambua, who had been accused of defiling his daughter Dorcas Wambua, be released on a cash bail of Ksh30,000 pending a fresh trial, should the prosecution deem it necessary.
The Kithimani Law Courts, through Senior Resident Magistrate Eva Wambugu, on Monday, December 21 directed the Office of the DPP to ensure that the fresh trial is instituted within a month, failure of which, Wambua would be deemed free, unconditionally.
Office of the DPP had earlier requested for two months to review Justice Odunga’s December 16 ruling.
The matter is up for mention on January 25, 2021.
Judge Odunga said on December 16 that Article 50 of the Constitution only provided for a new trial and ruled: “I order that a new trial be undertaken should the DPP deem it viable in the circumstances of this case.”
The offence was alleged to have taken place at their home in Mamba Sub-Location in Yatta, Machakos county, in April 2011.
Odunga ruled that the evidence, which was the basis of the conviction, was extracted through coercion and threats by the mother with the assistance of the police.
Though now free, Wambua is carrying not only the post-traumatic stress that accompanies anyone who has spent close to a decade in prison, but also the nightmarish experience of knowing that he was innocent, while incarcerated.
Trouble started in 2007 when Wambua separated with his wife, leaving him with custody of the ‘victim’ and her elder sister.
The shocking revelation of the plot that was hatched to fix Wambua, and prompted Judge Odunga to warn that it was not only unlawful and but also immoral to use children to sort out domestic issues, was laid bare before the Court.
The estranged wife had left her matrimonial home with their first-born and second-born children, a girl and a boy.
In an earlier interview, Wambua said: “I broke up with my first wife because she wanted me to sell my piece of land and split the money with her. I sold the land, gave her half the money and she left me.”
Wambua said the estranged wife later came and took away the kids. Later, after they failed to reconcile, he remarried. This however did not go well with the former wife and she later brought the kids.
After some time, around March 2011, the wife picked the children and took them to Nairobi but Wambua pleaded with her to release them after two days since he had already paid for their holiday tuition back in the village.
A plot had been hatched, and Wambua was not aware.
He was arrested and later charged in court in January 2012, Principal Magistrate A.W Mwangi sentenced Wambua to life in prison after convicting him. He was then thrown behind bars at the Kamiti Maximum Prison.
However, in 2019, Dorcas confessed that she and her elder sister had been instructed by the mother to frame the father following a disagreement over ownership of a parcel of land, with the aim of inheriting the property and getting rid of the co-wife.