Pastor testifies against police officer in murder case

A pastor has told the High Court in Eldoret how a police constable allegedly shot dead his wife seven months ago.

Testifying before Justice Reuben Nyakundi, Pastor Rebecca Kipchumba linked Maxwell Muigai to the alleged murder of his estranged wife Mercy Chebet on November 28, 2023.

Kipchumba recounted the tragic incident that occurred at the Railways police line in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu county on the fateful evening when she was heading home.

“It was around 7.30 pm when I was heading back to my rented house within the Railways police line. A few meters to my home, I heard gunshots emanating from the direction of my neighbour’s house. Scared, I ran past my house. I saw someone smoking a cigarette just outside my doorstep,” she said.

She said the man, who she recognised as her neighbour, pointed a gun at her and asked her who she was.

“I told him that I was his neighbour. I could recognise his voice. I knew him by his other name Maina. He withdrew the gun and directed me to knock on his door so that his wife who had locked herself inside would open for him to pick up his phone and uniform,” she testified.

Kipchumba narrated that the couple had domestic wrangles, which is believed to have led to the tragic incident. 

The pastor said the policeman who was drunk, told her that his wife had refused to respond despite several knocks on the door.

“I agreed to talk to his wife to open the door for him to pick up his cell phone and return to the workstation on condition that he should not harm me or her using the rifle he was holding,” she said.

Kipchumba testified that despite knocking on the door for almost 40 minutes, there was no reply.

She said the police officer opted to fire a bullet on the door before breaking in.

“When we accessed the house, I was shocked to find the body of the wife lying in a pool of blood in  the sitting room. The accused claimed that the bullet he fired might have penetrated through the timber door and hit his wife’s chest,” she said.

To her shock, Kipchumba claimed that the officer told her not to bother calling for help to take his wife to the hospital as she was already dead.

“I asked the accused to call an ambulance but he said there was no need to do so since Mercy was dead. He told me to stay put but I excused myself and called a police officer,” she said.

The police officer is said to have gone back to work leaving his wife's body in the house.

A team of police officers was dispatched to the scene before they disarmed and arrested the accused at his workstation where they found him going about his duties unperturbed.

According to the police, the murder suspect had spent three bullets.

The prosecution has lined up four more witnesses to testify against the accused.

Justice Nyakundi adjourned the hearing to June 7, 2024.