Policeman, his wives and crime: Trio found guilty of stealing gun

Police Constable Peter Mutembei and his two wives; Joan Kanana and Alice Wanjiru in the dock in Maralal law courts on January 26, 2023.

Photo credit: Geoffrey Ondieki I Nation Media Group

A Maralal court on Thursday convicted a police officer and his two wives for stealing a colleague's gun in June last year.

Constable Peter Mutembei and his two wives - Joan Kanana and Alice Wanjiru were found guilty on two counts of stealing a gun and handling stolen property.

When they were arraigned in court in June last year, the three denied the charges before Maralal Principal Magistrate James Wanyanga and were each released on Sh150,000 bond. Thereafter, the prosecution side put forward a strong case before the court to prove the charges.

The court was told that Mr Mutembei was arrested alongside his two wives by detectives from Maralal town, who were able to recover the AK-47 rifle which was reported missing by his colleague, Constable Lawrence Lekenit.

The three were charged that on the night of June 4, at Maralal Police Line in Samburu Central, jointly broke and entered the dwelling place of Constable Lekenit and stole one AK-47 loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition. The prosecution side had told the court that the firearm was a property of the Kenya Police Service and was worth Sh103,000.

"The firearm was the property of the Kenya Police Service and was issued to Police Constable Lawrence Lekenit for official duties," the prosecution side told the Maralal court on June 9.

But Mr Wanyanga on Thursday dismissed a burglary charge on Mr Mutembei and his two wives because "the prosecution side failed to prove burglary case." Mr Wanyanga, in his verdict, also said the prosecutors did not indicate the exact time the gun went missing. 

"Burglary and break in was not proved. Prosecutors did not present evidence to prove that the room was broken into. So, the charge is dismissed," Mr Wanyanga said in his verdict.

However, Mr Wanyanga said other charges of stealing, conspiracy to steal and handling stolen property were proved in court. He said that witnesses and prosecution side proved that the suspects was seen in possession of the lost firearm.

"Stealing was proven as per the evidence before this court. Further, the evidence before court can also prove that the three conspired to steal the gun," he said.

He also noted that evidence presented before court showed that Mr Mutembei allocated himself duties and was later seen with the stolen gun.

"There is higher possiblity that the gun was used for criminal activities. Because at that period, there was reports of crime around Maralal; Moi girls school to be specific."

"In my finding, the offense of burglary is is hereby dismissed. But other offenses of stealing and conspiracy are proved. The suspects are convicted."

The sentencing of the three individuals was set for February 16, when the pre-sentence will be produced in court.