A Catholic priest has been acquitted of harassment charges against his lover and daughter by a Kitui court.
Kitui Law Courts Chief Magistrate Stephen Mbungi ruled that the prosecution lacked enough evidence to convince the court to convict Father Japheth Kimanzi.
Father Kimanzi, who had been attached to the Kitui Diocese- Kabati Parish, had reportedly been in a long-term relationship with lover Veronica Mutua, a relationship that led to the birth of their nine-year-old daughter.
A seemingly devastated Mutua could not hide her dissatisfaction. “My child is disabled. After Father beat us up her condition worsened. He does not offer help in raising this child, and I expected to get justice in court,” she said.
Priest used lover’s friend to win the case
In what seems to be a well-thought-out plan to ‘finish’ the case, Mutua claims that the priest tricked her through her friend in order to gain evidence to throw away the case.
“He sent a lady named Rose to befriend me. She took advantage of our friendship to send messages to Father through my phone. She used to sleep at my house, and was a frequent client at my business. Finally, I saw her testifying against me, saying that I was the one who wrote those messages,” Mutua said in a high tone, her voice cracking.
The woman claimed that the messages, whose contents she did not reveal, were behind the ruling that dismissed the case. She, however, vowed to challenge the ruling, or fight tooth and nail for justice for her and her daughter.
“I appeal to Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya) and other organizations like Human Rights to help me because I am alone in this,” Mutua said, wiping away tears.
Mutua has fourteen days to appeal the ruling. The case against Father Kimanzi had lasted for six years.