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Surveyor sentenced to 3 years for killing university student

By Faith Karanja | Published Tue, February 27th 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 26th 2018 at 21:59 GMT +3
[Photo: Courtesy]

In summary

  • Court relied heavily on testimonies by Citizen TV crew who filmed the incident
  • TV crew captured accused driving on wrong side of road to escape breathalyser test in 2016 and killing learner

A surveyor who killed a university student in 2016 as he drove on the wrong side of the road to avoid a breathalyser test has been jailed for three years.

The accident was captured by a TV crew that later testified against the surveyor, Job Wangila Wandera.

Mr Wandera was ordered to pay a Sh350,000 fine, failing which he would have to spend three years behind bars.

Nairobi Senior Resident Magistrate Elector Riani convicted the man on Monday after the court was convinced he was driving on the wrong side of the road at the time of accident.

The court relied heavily on the testimonies of Citizen TV crew Evelyn Wambui and cameraman Mathenge Goko, who were on an assignment to cover a crackdown on drunk driving.

The witnesses confirmed to the court Wandera's vehicle was the one that made a wrong U-turn.

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"The accused was driving on the wrong side along Thika Road around Kasarani area. According to an inspection report, it was a head-on collision. The postmortem report shows the deceased died of head and chest injuries," said Riani.

The surveyor was charged with causing the death of Brian Kiambati, a third year engineering student at the University of Nairobi.

Wandera had also been charged with killing a university student along the Thika Superhighway in 2016 when he made a wrong U-turn in an attempt to evade the alcoblow test and collided head-on with a vehicle in which the deceased was a passenger. 

Brian's father, Mr Kiambati, told the court no amount of punishment could bring back his son.

In an interview with the press after the judgement, Kiambati said he only wanted justice for his son, which he said had been served.

Brian's mother, Liliana Maina, said the pain the family had suffered was not worth the conviction.

Earlier, the surveyor had made an application to have the case withdrawn, claiming the charge sheet was defective.

Through lawyer John Khaminwa, he argued that the charge sheet presented by the prosecution had used his Christian names. He said that was unlawful since the State had no religion.

The court heard that 12 witnesses, among them the investigation officer, arrived at the conclusion that the accused caused the crash.

The prosecution said the accused was captured on a Citizen TV camera, which showed Wandera's vehicle prior and after the accident, and corroborated the testimony that he was to blame for the accident.

It added that it had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt that Wandera was the one who caused Brian's death.

In his defence, the accused said there was no evidence adduced in court to show he had any alcohol in his system.

“I was driving along Thika Road with my two friends. Upon reaching the GSU camp, I saw a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road and an accident occurred,” said Wandera.