Kenyan poet, writer, author and a senior journalist at the Standard Media Group Kenya, Tony Mochama was awarded Sh9 million in damages in a defamation suit by the court after two women accused him of sexual harassment.
He was being accused by poet Shailja Patel and Prof Wambui Mwangi for an alleged sexual assault on September 20, 2014 at a lunch meeting at the home of Prof Wambui. The meeting was to discuss the business of the Africa Poetry Book Fund with the Fund’s founder, Prof Kwame Dawes, who was visiting Kenya for the Storymoja Hay Festival.
“Much as they may prefer a trial through Twitter and other 21st century forms of witch-hunting. Jesus was falsely accused and crucified. I refuse to follow his noble example. Slap me, but do not expect me to meekly turn the other cheek,” Mochama had said previously.
According to Tony Mochama, suing the women over defamation was his only lawful right as a human being, and encouraged the women to embrace the suit.
“By suing them for defamation, I am not trying to “silence” anyone. I am exercising the only lawful remedy open to me as a human being, a Kenyan. If anything, they should embrace this suit with open arms as I am providing them with an avenue to be heard and their tall tale to be thoroughly and logically examined by a court of law,” he said previously.
Magistrate Obura ordered the two women, Shalja Patel and Prof Wambui Mwangi to present him with a written apology within 14 days.