Witness: Former Kabete MP Muchai was killed with gun stolen from police

Former Kabete MP George Muchai

Former Kabete MP George Muchai who was assassinated on a Nairobi street in 2015.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The former MP,  his two body guards and his personal driver were shot dead from point blank range by marksman identified as Eric Isabwa.
  • The armed police officers and Muchai could not respond to the attack and all four victims died inside the former MP's vehicle.

Former Kabete MP George Muchai was  gunned down by gangsters using a G3-rifle stolen from  a police officer, a crime buster has told the High Court. 

Sergeant Moses Otiu Opiyo told Justice Kanyi Kimondo that Muchai, a former Confederation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Deputy Secretary General, his two body guards and his personal driver were shot dead from point blank range by marksman identified in court as Eric Isabwa alias Chairman.

Mr Opiyo disclosed before Justice Kimondo that the G3 rifle that had been stolen from Corporal Patrick Wamae in October 2014, five months before the former MP was slain in cold blood at the city centre. 

Mr Opiyo said police recovered the stolen G3 rifle and a Ceska Pistol stolen from Muchai’s bodyguard Lekakeny were recovered at the residences of Isabwa’s wife Margaret Njeri Waciuri and Raphael Kimani who are jointly facing charges of murdering Muchai opposite the General Post Office (GPO) on February 7, 2015.

The four were ambushed by Isabwa and Kimani who were wearing hoods around 3am as they drove home and pumped with bullets from the high ferocity weapon.

Testifying against Isabwa, his wife Njeri, Kimani, Jane Wanjiru Kamau alias Ciru, Simon Wambugu Gachamba, Stephen Lipapa and Mustafa Maina Wanyonyi, Mr Opiyo said five bullets were fired at Muchai, Lekakeny. Kimathi and Wambugu.

The officer said all the four died inside Muchai’s vehicle and that the armed police officers and the MP could not respond to the attack.

“The bullets were fired by accused number one - Isabwa - from the G3 rifle recovered from his Kinoo 87 residence,” Sgt Opiyo testified.

The court heard that in order to cover their tracks Isabwa had 10 mobile handsets, Wanjiru had 14 while Kimani had 10.

Testifying before Justice Kimondo, the officer from the serious crimes Unit at the DCI Headquarters identified and produced before the court the G3 rifle, the Ceska Pistol, five spent catridges, live ammunition, two black hoods, a gunny bag and a golf kitty bag where the G3 rifle had been hidden.

The court that heard Cpl Wamae was guarding telecommunication personnel at the upmarket area of Kitsuru Nairobi. 

"Elaborate investigations by crime busters from the DCI and the defunct Flying Squad revealed that the deceased MP, his two body guards and driver were killed by gangsters using a G3 rifle which had been stolen from an officer on duty five months ago," Sgt Opiyo.

“Soon after the shooting incident, Mr Isabwa and his accomplice, Raphael Kimani, alias Kim Butcher stole a Ceska pistol belonging to one Muchai's bodyguard Lekakeny whose serial number they erased to conceal its identify,” Mr Opiyo told the court. 

He said the then DCI ordered investigations into the heinous killing of Mr Muchai, with the probe split into three groups. 

Police, the court heard, broke the case into the killing of Muchai, arresting Isabwa and his wife Ms Margaret Njeri  Waciuri from their house in Kinoo 87 area. 

During the arrest of the couple, police recovered the G3 rifle hidden in golf kit bag and two black hoods.

"Upon search of the duo's house, police recovered the G3 rifle whose serial number had been erased. The serial number of the working parts in the gun had also been erased but was re-installed by the ballistic experts at DCI headquarters," Mr Opiyo testified.

The officer told the court that at the time of recovery of the G3 rifle, it had no safety pin. 

"By the time l was forwarding the G3 rifle to ballistic experts, the safety pin had not been recovered or found. The same was later given to police by taxi driver who ferried Mr Isabwa and Mr Kimani from where Muchai was killed at the wee hours of February 7,2015-eight years ago," Mr Opiyo recounted.

He said upon questioning the taxi driver who handed over the safety pin to Flying Squad unit, it emerged that it had been dropped in his car by the suspects while they were fleeing from the crime scene. 

Also, the officer said the Ceska pistol was recovered from Mr Kimani's house where the firearm’s serial number had also been erased. 

Mr Opiyo said the cybercrime officers embarked on investigating the call data of the suspects mobile phones. 

He presented to the judge the call data analysis of Isabwa and Kimani which revealed the communication leading to the arrest of the other five suspects in connection to the murder. 

The court was also told that Isabwa had two mobile phone lines and 10 mobile phone handsets.

His co-accused Ms Jane Wanjiru alias Shiro, a convicted drug trafficker, had 10 mobile phones while Stephen Astiva Lipapa alias Chokore had 14 mobile handsets.

Besides their wide network of communication, the officer revealed the seven suspects were serial offenders who have been convicted for capital offences in the past.

Preceding the shooting of Muchai, Isabwa and Kimani had kidnapped three people in Westlands whom they bundled into their Mercedes Benz boot then drove to city centre where they caught up with the deceased four, whom they executed in cold blood.

To support his testimony, Sgt Opiyo produced in court Muchai's Ceska pistol which was recovered from him in death.

Other exhibits produced in the murder case was the stolen G3 rifle, a Ceska pistol stolen, a Ceska Pistol stolen from Muchai's bodyguard, two black hoods, a pair of pliers, a hacksaw, a gunny sack, ammunitions, five spent cartridges and the postmortem report.

All the seven suspects are being held in prison. The hearing continues.