Slain Ruto poll experts: Eight police officers to be detained for 21 days

From left: John Mwendwa Mbaya, David Chepcheng Kipsoi, Stephen Luseno Matunda, Paul Njogu Muriithi and Simon Gikonyo when they appeared at Kahawa Law Courts over alleged murder of two Indians and their taxi driver.

Photo credit: Simon Ciuri I Nation MedIa Group

A Kiambu court on Thursday allowed the detention of eight out of nine police officers linked to the suspected murder of two Indians and their Kenyan driver

The eight suspects will be detained for 21 days. 

One of the suspects was granted Sh500,000 bond. 

The prosecution wants the nine kept behind bars for 30 days as investigations into their alleged role in the suspected murders continues.

The state, through a miscellaneous application filed at Kahawa Law Courts before chief magistrate Diana Mochache, argued that more time is needed to subject the suspects to a DNA test as well as probing their confiscated mobile phones.  

Ms Mochache said that given how bulky the document filed as replying affidavit by defence is, there was need for more time to prepare a detailed replying affidavit to that effect.

"The prosecution team has argued and proved that they were served with a replying affidavit to their miscellaneous application this morning inside the court and it would be unfair in pursuit of justice to deny them more days to file a replying affidavit to that effect. I therefore grant them three more days instead of seven,"’ Ms Mochache ruled.

Earlier in his submission, Mr Danstan Omari who is the lead counsel for the accused, had argued  in his submissions that if the prosecution team was granted more days to file, it would also be  fair for the accused to be released on a favourable cash bail or bond, but the court did not agree. 

Police allege that the nine are linked to the murders of the three at Aberdare forest. The officers are Peter Muthee Gachiku, Francis Muendo Ndonye, John Mwangi Kamau, Joseph Kamau Mbugua, John Mwendwa Mbaya, David Chepcheng Kipsoi, Stephen Luseno Matunda, Paul Njogu Muriithi, and Simon Gikonyo — formerly attached to the now-disbanded Special Service Unit.  

They are accused of killing two Indians -- Mohammed Said Sami and Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan, and their local taxi driver, Nicodemus Mwania. The two, who went missing in July, were in Kenya to join President William Ruto’s campaign team as IT experts. 

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

Dennis Itumbi, a close ally of President Ruto, recently said they contributed immensely to the success of Dr Ruto’s campaign.

Their bodies, including that of Mr Mwania, have never been found, though bones recently recovered from Aberdare Forest are believed to be theirs.

How they disappeared

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. 

In a court session last week, the investigating officer, Michael Kirui, attached to the National Police Service, 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 accused officers were in constant communication with each other as they planned to execute the murders.