'Serial shoplifter' Alvin Chivondo escapes prosecution, to undergo mental assessment

Alvin Linus Chivondo. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A suspected serial shoplifter who was arrested last Thursday for allegedly stealing from a supermarket will not be charged in court. Instead, Alvin Chivondo will undergo a mental assessment.

Chivondo, 21, was presented to a Milimani court yesterday; however, he did not take plea as his file was returned to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for review.

The accused had been arrested for allegedly stealing maize flour from Naivas Supermarket along Ronald Ngala Street in Nairobi.

Before being presented to court, Central Sub-county Police Commander David Baariu had hinted that they were thinking of putting Chivondo under mental assessment. 

"We may be forced to make an application in court to have the accused taken for a mental test to ascertain his fitness to stand trial," said the police boss. 

Chivondo's pro-bono lawyer Vienna Mongare said the State had signed an agreement to release her client after he accepted to be subjected to mental examination and counselling.

"After the investigation of the offences and conduct of background check, it appears that the interest of the public and your own will best be served by not charging you," reads the agreement signed between the DPP and Mongare. 

In a similar previous offence, Chivondo was rescued by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after he was charged with stealing from Naivas Supermarket along Moi Avenue.

Sonko at the time said he had bought him food to last for one month.