How police cracked case on Kilifi deputy governor killing

Murder suspects

From Left: Julius Gitonga M’Muguu, Joseph Amwayi Mukabana and Florence Mwanza Mbithe before Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Henry Nyakweba. Mr Gitonga and Mr Amwayi are co-accused alongside Mr Muasya Kiteme of fatally shooting former Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto on December 12, 2018.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A mobile phone stolen from a house help at the residence of former Kilifi deputy governor Kenneth Kamto during a robbery in 2018 led detectives to his suspected killers.

The phone was stolen from Ms Uchi Zuma Mkaha, when at least three robbers stormed Mr Kamto’s home on the morning of December 12, 2018 and shot him dead.

The robbers did not bother to switch the phone off, as it was in use and active even after the incident.

Inspector Peter Kamau from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters has told a court that this made their work easy in tracing it and those involved in the robbery.

Testifying before Shanzu Principal Magistrate Yussuf Shikanda, Mr Kamau said the team requested IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) history of the phone and others that had been stolen during the robbery.

Another request was made for the IMEI history paired to the current users. “One of the service providers gave feedback that the mobile phone was active and had been used by two subscribers,” he said.

These subscribers were Joseph Shoi Chege and Ms Clementina Nerima Mundera.
Upon interrogation, Ms Mundera explained that Mr Chege had given her the phone.

The data from the mobile service provider also indicated that the phone had been in use for weeks after the incident.

Using this information, the officers traced the phone to another suspect, now a protected witness. The witness had provided names of the prime suspects in the robbery.

“The witness under protection was not charged. He is better placed as a prosecution witness. The call data helped us to trace and reach him,” the officer told the court under guidance of state counsel Ngina Mutua.

On January 3, 2019, the detectives arrested the witness under protection, Ms Mundera and Mr Chege.

They were then taken to court where the police were given time to hold them for a while to allow for investigations.

During interrogation, Mr Chege revealed that the protected witness had briefly given him the phone to use.

On his part, the witness explained that Mr Joseph Amwayi Mukabana had given him the mobile phone.

He further informed the investigators that on December 12,2018, he received a call from Mr Mukabana requesting for boda boda services, which he agreed to and drove him and his associates to Nyali Beach Road.

“Later at around 4am, Mr Mukabana called the witness and asked him to go and pick them up. The witness told us that it is during this pick up that he was handed the phone as payment for the boda boda service he provided,” the witness told the court.

The investigator further informed the court that during interrogation, the protected witness revealed to them he had found a woman at the scene where he went to pick Mr Mukabana and his friends.

The protected witness also revealed to the officers that he took the woman to her destination before returning to pick Mukabana and his friends and took them to Bombolulu.

“From the interrogation of the protected witness, which was restricted to the source of the phone, we got the identities of the suspects who were involved in the incident,” said Mr Kamau.

The officers then moved to Kwa Bulo area where they arrested Mr Julius Gitonga M’ Muguu.

He was in the company of Ms Florence Mbithe Mwanze. Inside their house, four mobile phones belonging to Mr Kamto and his wife Fawzia Dear Omar, a gun and 14 bullets were recovered.

Mr Kamto was killed on December 12, 2018 when gunmen stormed his compound at around 2am.

Mr Muasya Kiteme alias Mwaa, Mr Gitonga, Mr Mukabana, Ms Mwanza, Mr Chege and Ms Mundera are charged with separate offences, ranging from robbery with violence and being in possession of stolen items following the incident.

Mr Kiteme was charged alongside Mr Gitonga and Mr Mukabana with fatally shooting the former deputy governor and robbing him of three mobile phones valued at Sh28,000.

Ms Mwanza is charged together with Gitonga that on January 6, 2019, at Kwa Bolu area in Kisauni, dishonestly undertook the retention of the three mobile phones belonging to Kamto and his wife Fawzia Dear Omar, knowing or having reason to believe them to be stolen property.

Mr Gitonga and Mr Amwayi are also accused of robbing Chinese national Adnan Chi Tung of goods worth Sh3 million at Nyali Plaza Estate.

They are also accused of robbing Ms Omar and Ms Mkaha mobile phones worth Sh10,000 and Sh2,000 at the victims’ houses along Nyali Beach Road on December 12.
Mr Chege and Ms Nerima were found with a stolen mobile phone belonging to Ms Zuma.

Gitonga and Ms Mwanza are further accused of being in possession of a pistol loaded with 18 rounds of ammunition on January 6 at Kwa Bulo Estate, without a valid firearm certificate.

From a CCTV footage, Kamto could be seen opening and closing the gate and minutes later, the three armed men could be seen scaling the gates and disappearing into darkness.

The CCTV footage corroborates Mr Kiteme’s confession on how they planned the robbery, jumped into the residence, committed the offence and escaped. He is serving a 15-year jail term after striking a deal with the state for a lesser sentence.

Further hearing is on January 18.