Ngilu weeps as she testifies in friend's murder case

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu was yesterday moved to tears as she testified in the murder case of former Township Mayor Martha Mwangangi.

Mrs Ngilu, who was the second prosecution witness, could not hold back tears at the High Court as she narrated her last moments with Martha, who had been a political ally since the 1990s.

Ngilu narrated before Justice Lillian Mutende how she saw the mayor walk to her death on the morning of December 16, 2016.

Ngilu said Martha had joined her to help calm demonstrating traders whose kiosks had been demolished by the county government.

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“I was with the former mayor when suddenly a county government truck plunged into the demonstrators outside the Kitui police station and crushed her to death. Martha and I were old friends and we had been called to defend the traders’ source of livelihood,” said Ngilu.

Philip Isika, a driver with the county government, has denied causing Martha’s death.

Advocates Daniel Kithome and Katunga Mbuvi represented the accused and Martha’s family, respectively, while the prosecution was led by Vincent Mamba.

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The governor said she missed death by a whisker after her aide pulled her out of harm's way as the crowd scampered for safety.

“Martha was not lucky. The truck hit and flung her ahead before crushing her on the head and mid-section. She died instantly as pandemonium ensued at the scene,” Ngilu said, in tears.

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The governor described the former mayor as brave, warm-hearted, generous, a good listener and motherly, adding that her "untimely and brutal" death had left Kitui residents shocked and devastated.

On cross-examination by Mr Kithome, Ngilu said she did not see the driver before or after the incident, but she saw the truck speed away from the scene.

Justice Mutende adjourned the hearing to July 31.

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Kitui Governor Charity NgiluMurder caseWeeps