Waiganjo sheds ‘fake cop’ tag as seven-year battle ends

After seven years in and out of court, Joshua Waiganjo, the man accused of masquerading as a police officer has been cleared of impersonation charges.

Two others charged alongside him - former Rift Valley provincial police boss John M’mbijiwe and former ex-Anti-Stock Theft Unit Commandant Michael Remi Ngugi, now deceased - have also been cleared of abuse of office charges.

Making the ruling via video-link application, Zoom, Principal Magistrate Joe Omido said the prosecution’s case failed because it lacked sufficient evidence to proof that the three were guilty of the charges levelled against them.

“The court cannot determine with certainty whether Waiganjo was a police officer or not, because no evidences were tendered to prove or disapprove of the same,” ruled Omido.

Inconsistent witness

He added that the prosecution witnesses who testified were inconsistent during cross-examination.

“No one proved that Waiganjo impersonated a top officer and presided over a Kenya Forest Service function in Londiani and inspected a guard of honour. In fact, prosecution witnesses said the person who officiated the event was not Waiganjo,” he said.

40 witnesses

Further, Omido faulted the prosecution for leaving out crucial witnesses including arresting officers and the investigating officer in the case.

“The court was supplied with a charge sheet but no arresting officer came to testify and explain why he arrested the accused persons. They should have been freed as soon as the investigating officer refused to testify,” said Omido.

Waiganjo, was arrested in 2013, for allegedly masquerading as a senior police officer, in the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police. The case was heard by three judges in Nakuru and Naivasha and three magistrates and more than 40 witnesses testified. Omido was handling the case in Nakuru before he was transferred to Kwale Law courts. Meanwhile, Waiganjo still has a pending case at Naivasha Law courts where he faces charges of impersonation.