How two suspects who sold brew that killed 10 in Bahati were arrested

Bahati residents view caskets bearing the remains of the seven victims who died after consuming poisoned illicit brew in Nakuru County on August 18, 2021 [Harun Wathari, Standard]

Two of the five traders suspected of selling illicit brew that led to the death of ten people in Hodi Hodi area, Bahati have been arrested. 

Nakuru North DCIO Westley Langat said this brings the number of suspects arrested in connection with the August 2021 tragedy to three, adding that a manhunt for two others was still on.

"After being on the run for two months, the suspects returned to Bahati. We received a series of information that led to their arrest in different locations within the sub-county," said Langat. 

On August 8, 2021, a group of Hodi Hodi residents consumed illicit brew sold to them by the five suspects killing five people within 24 hours and five others days later while receiving treatment. 

The two suspects who have been evading police dragnets appeared to have assumed that the authorities had put the matter to rest happened under circumstances that had them in a lame-duck situation. 

The first suspect identified as Josephat Mwaniki Mugo, 29 was rearrested while in police custody where he had been placed in connection with another offence. 

"Mwaniki is suspected to have been involved in the stealing of a hand cart. He was arrested and placed under custody at Tumsifu Police Post and was scheduled to be taken to court on Thursday," said Langat. 

The detective said that they received information that a suspect whose identity matched that of another involved in the Hodi Hodi tragedy which upon verification they established it was the same person. 

At Maili Sita trading center which is less than ten five kilometers away from Tumsifu area, the second suspect identified as Albert Macharia, 29, arrived at an entertainment joint on his motorbike. 

Hawk-eyed detectives who were in the area immediately laid a trap for him, monitoring every move he made. 

"He walked into an entertainment joint where he joined his peers in playing pool table. He equally stayed alert of his surroundings but not more than detectives who had already surrounded him before pouncing on him," said Langat. 

The two suspects were then moved to Kiugu-ini Police Station, the divisional headquarters for Nakuru North and will be arraigned today. 

“We are committed to bringing to book all the five suspects involved in the incident. Those who have been arrested will be charged with ten counts of murder for each of the death they caused through their illegal business,” said Langat.

He explained that the two suspects had no mobile phones with them and this made it difficult for the police to trace them. 

“We don’t rely on mobile phones alone in tracing criminals. Those on the run should know that we are still looking for them and should surrender before we catch up,” said Langat. 

The first suspect identified as Anastasia Njeri, 50, was on August 18 arrested at her hideout in Sachangwan area and led the police to her brother’s home in Mawanga Estate where the police recovered a cache of equipment and chemicals used in manufacturing the brew.