Police arrest three suspects in Msando murder, ask phone firms for call data

Chris Musando
Police have reportedly arrested three people in connection with the killing of an electoral commission official and his female companion.

And yesterday, police gave a new account of the last moments of Christopher Msando, the ICT deputy director at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), whose body was found in Muguga Forest, Kiambu County, on Saturday. The body of Maryanne Wairimu Ngumbu was also found metres away.

In a statement, police explained that Mr Msando was on Friday night spotted at Club 7 along Koinange Street with Ms Ngumbu and another man.

A waiter told the police that the man left earlier but Msando and Ngumbu left at around 1am, according to the statement by police spokesman George Kinoti.

Msando's vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery registration number KCB 262Q, was thereafter captured by highway surveillance cameras at the Uhuru Highway/Haile Selassie Avenue roundabout at 2.24am and later at the Bunyala Road/Uhuru Highway roundabout heading towards Mombasa Road.

The car had two occupants - a male and a female, presumably Msando and Ngumbu. But at 2.34am, when it was again captured by cameras heading towards Nyayo Stadium, only the male driver was in the vehicle.

Police monitors

The vehicle was later spotted along the Ring Road Ngara/Juja Road intersection heading towards Thika Road at 2.47am, when it vanished from police monitors.

But in an earlier account established by The Standard, throughout the drive captured on camera, Msando was in the driver's seat and there was a stocky woman in the front passenger seat. Two men, described as "young" were in the back seat.

The vehicle is reported to have made some stops - at one point, Msando steps out and is captured speaking on a mobile phone. The female occupant comes out of the car and stands next to him.

According to the official police statement, the unidentified man who was last seen with the two could hold the key to the killings.

But it is unclear what became of the three - the stocky woman and two men reported in the earlier account. A police source said the three suspects in custody could be paraded either today or tomorrow. Their identities remain unclear.

The bodies of Msando and Ngumbu were taken to City Mortuary at 11.50am on Saturday. The police statement indicates investigators got information about two unknown bodies at the morgue on Monday.

And yesterday, the police statement indicated a water vendor in Roysambu, where the car was found on Sunday, had reported it had been parked near their building about two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, police have contacted two mobile phone service providers to obtain phone records to determine individual(s) Msando called before his death.

Detectives say they cannot trace clothes and other personal belongings he had before his death. They want to know where Msando's three mobile phones and the clothes he wore on Friday are as they try to unravel the mystery surrounding his killing.

Service providers

The team from the Homicide Department at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters asked two mobile phone service providers to supply them with Msando's and Ngumbu's call data.

"We understand (Msando) was on phone most of the time he was captured on camera and even sent messages to his colleagues and some friends. The data from the phones will be helpful," said an official aware of the probe.

Ngumbu's clothes and mobile phone are also missing.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said a special DCI homicide team had been set up to investigate Msando's killing.

"We are following certain crucial leads that we believe could lead to the eventual arrest and prosecution of the murderers," said Mr Boinnet, as he urged the public to volunteer information that could help solve the puzzle.

Detectives visited places where Msando was on Friday night, including Number 7 Bar and Restaurant on Koinange Street, where Msando and Ngumbu met for drinks.

Police have asked Msando's family to help them establish if the car had a tracking system to establish where it was driven to after they left the bar.

Almost two hours are unaccounted for - between 11.30pm on Friday and 2am on Saturday, when the vehicle was first captured along Harambee Avenue. It was next spotted along Mombasa Road near Bellevue.

Msando had been at KTN for a TV show and told Ngumbu to wait for him at Number 7 Bar. Police visited the joint where they interrogated attendants.

Msando's car

The officers have also visited the scene where the bodies were found dumped in Muguga, Kiambu County, as well as the scene where Msando's car was abandoned in Roysambu, and the mortuary.

The team is interested in knowing what clothes the two wore after it emerged that a woman captured on camera riding in his care wore a yellow sweater.

Ngumbu's family said she did not wear any such clothes on Friday, deepening the mystery on the identity of the woman seated in the co-driver's seat.

According to the officers, the car was driven and abandoned in Roysambu by the killers before the bodies were dumped in Kikuyu.

This was meant to throw off track anyone tracing the whereabouts of the car and its occupants.

"There is a likelihood the two were transferred to a different car, killed elsewhere and the bodies dumped where they were found," said another officer who asked not to be named.

The woman, according other experts, could have been collateral.

A postmortem is scheduled for today. 

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