'I didn't see police hit slain Kianjokoma Brothers’

Six police officers, suspects in the murder of the two Kianjokoma brothers from at a Milimani court on Thursday, September 2, 2021. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A friend of the slain Kianjokoma brothers has said he did not see any officer hit them will a club.

Chris Murimi was cross-examined by lawyers representing six police officers charged with the brothers’ murder. He said it was dark and he'd taken cover to hide from the police who were chasing them.

“It is true I saw a police officer following us with a huge stick but I did not see him doing anything with it. I also cannot identify the officers who were chasing us because it was dark."

Brothers Benson Ndwiga and Emmanuel Mutura were allegedly killed by the police on the night of August 1, 2021, at Kianjokoma village in Embu County.

Murimi was testifying in the case in which six police officers were charged with the murder. They are Benson Mbuthia, Consolata Njeri, Martin Wanyama, Nicholas Sang, Lillian Cherono and James Mwaniki.

Asked why they were running away from the police, Murimi said one of the officers approached them looking agitated.

He added that he saw one of the brothers trip and fall while they were running. The slippery road, not a police officer chasing them, led to Mutura slipping, Murimi told the court.

He dismissed the defence lawyers' claim that the man chasing them was not a police officer. Murimi said the man came out of the police vehicle and was in the company of fellow officers.

Murimi had earlier testified that that night he was with another friend, John Mugendi. Ndwiga called and asked to meet them. They met at a nearby bar but the two brothers said they could not drink as they had work the following day.

At around 10pm they left the bar and were walking towards home when they noticed the police vehicle. Ndwiga told them to run to escape the police who were on patrol to enforce curfew rules.

“We started running back but Mutura tripped. His brother Ndwiga went back for him while I continued running. I ran a few metres ahead before hiding in a ditch," Murimi said. He added that from his hideout, he saw a police officer with a club walking towards Mutura and when he caught up with his brother he hit him before bundling him in the police vehicle.

The next morning, Murimi received a call from the brothers’ father asking if he knew where they were. He explained what happened the previous night which prompted the family to start a search at the police station, where they discovered the two had been killed.