The ban on charcoal and sand harvesting in Kitui took a new twist yesterday when a Kitui County enforcement officer was charged with arson in an Embu court .
Mr James Mulwa, the Mwingi sub county Enforcement Officer was ferried from Mwingi to be arraigned in court in Embu where he denied three charges leveled against him, among them the burning of a truck carrying charcoal in defiance of the ban.
Embu Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru would not however allow the charges to be read until he was told why a Kitui case was before him.
The Prosecution Counsel explained that circumstances surrounding the arest arose from violence and political activities, making Kitui a volatile area from which it looked unadvisable to conduct the case.
The magistrate overruled objections from Mr J Andande who had said claims of volatility were mere allegations that were not supported by evidence.
The state alleges that the accused, with others not before court, set ablaze the lorry worth Sh 11 million .
Mulwa is also accused of failing to prevent the arson and destruction of evidence.
He was released on a bond of Sh 500,000 and a surety of the same amount.
Alternatively, he was admitted to a cash bail of Sh 200,000.
Hearing was set for February 14.