Missing Ruto poll experts: Five more DCI officers arrested

William Ruto DCI Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan

Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan who has been missing, DCI headquarters and President William Ruto.

Photo credit: File

Five more police officers were arrested on Wednesday over the disappearance and suspected murder of the two Indians who were working with President William Ruto's campaign team.

The suspects will be arraigned today (Thursday). 

Zulfiqar Khan, Mohamed Zaid and taxi driver Nicodemus Mwania were last seen leaving a club in Westlands after a night of partying on July 23. 

The five new suspects are: police corporals Joseph Mbaya, David Kipsoi, Stephen Mutunda, Paul Muriithi and Simon Gikonyo. 

Police say the suspects belonged to the DCI’s Special Service Unit which was disbanded recently.

The suspects were detained at the Industrial Area Police Remand overnight and will be arraigned in Kiambu.

“They are being investigated for the offences of conspiracy to commit a felony and abduction. They will be arraigned on Thursday, October 27,” a police report filed at the Internal Affairs Unit Headquarters said.

The five arrests bring the total number of police officers in custody over the disappearance of the three to nine.

Peter Muthee, Francis Muendo, John Mwangi and Joseph Kamau were arrested last Friday and arraigned before Kahawa Chief Magistrate Diana Mochache on Wednesday.

She ruled that the Internal Affairs Unit has a legal duty to file or recommend the prosecution of its members and later forward the file to other government entities. 

The lawyers representing the four policemen suffered a blow after a court dismissed their objection to a miscellaneous application filed by the officers’ employer seeking to detain them for 30 days as investigations continue, saying it is legally binding.

They appeared before Ms Mochache on Monday but did not take a plea because the Internal Affairs Unit had filed the miscellaneous application seeking to detain them for 30 days.

Ms Mochache set the next session for Friday afternoon when both the prosecution and the defence will return for further directions based on the outcome of the appeal.

The two Indians were in Kenya as part of an information and communications technology campaign team for then Deputy President William Ruto as he campaigned to win the country’s General Election on August 9.

“Police intend to charge the suspects with kidnap, abuse of office and conspiracy to commit a felony,” said defence lawyer Danstan Omari. 

Peter Muthee, head of the now defunct police unit, was among those detained after all the officers were called for interrogation by a team from Kenya’s national police service on Friday.

On Monday, the investigating officer, Michael Kirui, attached to the National Police Service, through a sworn affidavit, told the court that the two Indians and their driver were marked men and it was just a matter of when they would be killed.

He did not explain the motive for the alleged murders but expounded on an alleged killer squad that was always ready to pull the trigger. He said it worked closely with other rogue elements within the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Police said they relied on call data records, which revealed that the four accused were in contact communication with each other as they planned to execute the murders.

President Ruto has accused the disbanded police unit of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

Human rights groups in Kenya have since lauded Dr Ruto’s leadership for disbanding the police unit last week, calling for speedy probes into its heinous acts.

The rights groups described the president's decision as a strong first move in expressing the political will that has been lacking in Kenya for decades, calling it a strong foundational step for a new beginning.

The Special Service Unit is accused of extortion, kidnappings, torture, extrajudicial executions, and enforced disappearances.