Proceedings at the Milimani Magistrate’s Court in Nairobi were temporarily interrupted on Tuesday afternoon when Muthomi Thiankolu, the lawyer of Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, accused Marianne Kitany’s bodyguard of displaying his firearm in court.
Linturi and Kitany are embroiled in a bitter separation row that escalated to the corridors of justice in December 2018.
While defending Kitany’s bodyguard, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Danstan Omari, said his client’s security officer had a gun in court because they couldn’t gamble with Kitany’s life, given “it had been threatened before by Linturi”.
“Marianne’s life is in danger, and, as a result, she decided to device certain ways of keeping herself safe, including hiring armed bodyguards to protect her,” Omari told Chief Magistrate Peter Gesora.
Entering the courtroom with a fireream is not allowed. Court regulations demand that all armed attendees should surrender the weapons at the security check before accessing the courtroom. Upon leaving the chambers, the weapons are usually given back to their owners.
Magistrate Gesora ordered the Milimani Law Courts OCS to investigate Thiankolu’s allegations. After conducting a body-search on Kitany’s security guard, a firearm was found in his possession.
The bodyguard was, consequently, asked by the magistrate to leave the courtroom.
The drama that lasted ten minutes interrupted a then-ongoing witness testimony in the Kitany-Linturi divorce row.
At the time, Father Jackson Micheni, a Catholic priest at Tigania Parish church, was testifying that he officiated the exchange of wedding vows between Linturi and his ex-wife, Mercy Kaimenyi, on April 18, 2000.
The witness was brought in after a request was made by Linturi’s defense lawyer, Muthomi Thiankolu.