KDF soldier held in probe on construction worker's death

Austin Okemwa Ogega, who was abducted outside the family home in Githurai Kimbo estate and later died of gunshot and stab wounds at the Kenyatta National Hospital. [Courtesy]
A soldier has been arrested following the killing of his 26-year-old neighbour, who was abducted by gunmen outside their home in Kiambu.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Warrant Officer Two was arrested 10 days ago in Githurai Kimbo as police investigated the killing of Austin Okemwa Ogega.

Okemwa was abducted on July 6 at Kahawa Kimbo estate and was found critically injured the following day on Kangundo road, about 30km away. He had three gunshot wounds and had been stabbed in the neck.

The soldier, who is based at the Department of Defence (DoD) headquarters, was picked by police after witnesses identified him as the man who was in the company of three armed men who kidnapped Okemwa.

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The soldier and Okemwa's parents are immediate neighbours in Githurai Kimbo, and have known one another for more than 30 years.

Okemwa’s father Ibrahim Ogega retired recently from the DoD, where he worked as a civilian in the staff canteen, while his son was a casual worker in construction sites.

Mr Ogega said witnesses to his son's abduction called him immediately. "On that Friday, he was outside our home when a car with four occupants arrived. Three men walked towards my son, grabbed him with one hitting him with a butt on his head. They then bundled him to the car and drove away," says Ogega.

Before he was abducted, Okemwa had told his father he might be arrested.

"The previous week, my son had a physical confrontation with my neighbour’s son, which led to the damage of spectacles of the other boy,” Ogega says.

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Following the abduction, Ogega went to the nearby Kimbo Police Station but did not find his son. He checked Kahawa police post, Kasarani and Ruiru Police stations before officers advised him to formally report his son's disappearance.

Stranger calls

The next day, while preparing to return to the police station, Ogega received a call from a stranger informing him of an injured man abandoned on Kangundo road.

The caller, who turned out to be an officer, said he had found Ogega's number inscribed on the man’s trousers. He advised Ogega to go to Kenyatta National Hospital. Ogega found medics trying to save the life of his son.

“He showed me four fingers and then went into a coma,” said Ogega.

Ruiru OCPD James Ng'etich said on Tuesday the soldier was arrested for investigations after witnesses linked him to Okemwa's disappearance.

“He was arrested and taken to court on Monday but later remanded to await psychiatric test before taking plea,” Ngetich said.

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