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Orengo Ordered To Pay Ongwae’s Mother Sh1M For Defamation

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A Kisii court has ordered Siaya Governor James Orengo to pay former Kisii Governor James Ongwae ‘s 94-year-old mother, Grace Moraa sh1 million and to issue her a public apology in a defamation suit where the governor used derogatory language towards her person at a political rally in Kisii.

Her lawyer Peter Wanyama says the governor didn’t show remorse during the hearing. Her husband testified that they were listening to radio at their home in Kisii when they heard Orengo utter the defamatory words, repeatedly. He told the magistrate that if Orengo had a political problem with his son, the best way was to confront him directly ; there was no need to drag his wife in the matter.

Wanyama went further to slam the governor for taking his jugular to the old mother, “Instead of doing his politics against his equal, he went after the mother.”

The lawsuit

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The suit stemmed from the remarks Orengo made during the Azimio s Baraza la Wananchi forum at Gusii Stadium on February 17, 2023.

The function was attended by, among others, Azimio leader Raila Odinga and Kisii Governor Simba Arati.

In the petition, Moraa argued that Orengo ‘failed to prudently discharge his duty of care in uttering a false statement resulting in consequences leading to injury to her’.

Orengo, she further argued, did not publish a clear apology equal to the published video in which he made the vulgar utterances against her.

She sought payment for general damages for ‘slander, aggravated and exemplary damages’.

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She is further pushed for the publication of an apology commensurate with the magnitude of the offence.

Moraa, additionally in her prayers, wanted Orengo, or his agents, permanently barred from making similar statements about her.

In the suit papers, Orengo is said to have contemptuously described the Defendant as ‘incapable of bearing and raising a person worthy of Ongwae’ s stature ‘.

She says the sentiments were made to soil her reputation and standing in the family and larger society.

The defamatory words were widely published on YouTube and social media.

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In his judgement, Hon. Mutai the trial magistrate was satisfied that all the ingredients of defamation had been proved and awarded damages.


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