Kenyan man jailed for life over ‘Al-Shabaab’ slur

Court hands down stiff sentence following physical altercation.

A Kenyan man has been reportedly jailed for life for attacking a man he accused of being a member of Somalia terror group Al-Shabaab.

Kenyan weekly The Nairobian said a court found Patrick Mutua Muting guilty of assaulting Stephen Kithendu.

The prosecution said the accused, who was unknown to Kithendu, started haranguing the complainant as to the nature of his business in Kimutwa area of Machakos county, some 63 kilometres (39 miles) from the capital Nairobi.

The paper said the accused, a primary school dropout, accused him of being a member of Al-Shabaab and then assaulted him “without warning”. He lost three teeth as a consequence.

It was not clear if the sentence was for the slur or the assault.

Given the offence was committed on May 16 last year, it may raise concern of an overreaction in the wake of the April 2 horror massacre of 147 people, the vast majority students in Garissa town.

That attack was claimed the Islamist militant group.

Kenya has in recent years been targeted by the Al-Shabaab in retaliation for the presence of its troops in Somalia.

One preventive initiative, Nyumba Kumi or Kiswahili for ‘Ten houses’, requires Kenyans to take a keener interest in their neighbours.

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