Two murder suspects jailed for 50 years

The main entrance to Kamiti Maximum Prison where capital offenders serve their sentences. [File, Standard]

Two men accused of murder seven years ago will spend the next 50 years behind bars.

This is after the duo, Silas Mukira, 37 and Stanley Thiaine, 55were found guilty of the crime and convicted.

High Court Judge Edward Murithi in his ruling said the prosecution proved its case against the two in the murder trial.

The two are said to have murdered the late Laibuni M'Igweta at Machaka in Tigania West on June 24, 2016.

The court heard that Sila Mukira was the mastermind of the murder in effort to avoid paying Sh50, 000 he owed the family of the deceased.

They were accused with others not before the court for the violent murder of M'Igweta as his wife and a child watched.

They denied the charge and the prosecution led by Eric Masila called five witnesses to prove its case against the two.

Esther Makena, the wife of the deceased told the court on the night of the murder she was in the kitchen with M'Igweta.

Makena recounted how as she cooked Mukira entered the kitchen with a sword called a 'C-line'.

"He (Mukira) was wearing a motorbike helmet. Three men stormed the kitchen, Silas Mukira, Stanley Thiaine and a third person whom I did not recognize. When they entered the house, Mukira hit Laibuni with the C-line and killed him," she said.

Makena said Mukira had purchased trees from her for Sh50,000 which he had not paid.

Unable to recover the debt he owed, the couple had reported Mukira to Njuri Ncheke elders, a fact that she said had angered Mukira.

Makena said they fought the attackers before her late husband hit Mukira on the head with a thermos and the helmet fell off his head.

"It was then I recognised that it was Silas. I knew them as they were village mates. Silas had purchased trees from me for Sh50, 000 which he had not paid us," she said.

Makena told the court she shouted Mukira's name when the helmet fell.

"When I shouted 'Silas don't kill my husband' he was surprised. They cut me on the on the right hand and on my head above the neck. They also poured paraffin on my back," she said.

Makena showed the court burns she sustained on the left side of her upper back.

But Mukira in his defence said on the date of the murder he got back to his home at 5pm and never left.

David Mutuma for Thiane said he and another person had been with Thiaine at work on the said time of the murder.

Pleading for leniency, the two said they had school-going children who depended on them.

The Judge said prosecution had proved malice on the part of the accused.

Justice Murithi said though Thiaine had not actively participated in the murder he knew his actions would probably cause death or grievous harm to Makena.

"It is immaterial that she survived and the deceased died," Murithi said.

Murithi said there was indication that the alibi defences were conjured to respond to the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, and they were wholly incapable of raising any reasonable doubt to the consistent and corroborated recognition evidence of the witness PW1.

The Judge said, "For the reasons set out above, the court sentences the accused persons, each to serve an imprisonment term of 50 years for the offence of murder contrary to section 203 as read with 204 of the Penal Code".