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Container of death tells tale of SSU torture

 The main entrance to the DCI headquarters in Muthaiga.

The container of death is at the heart of investigations into the disbanded DCI special service unit.

According to detectives who spoke on the condition of anonymity, victims were taken to the container for torture and most were killed there after days of agony.

The SSU team used torture to obtain any possible information before dumping bodies away from Nairobi or crime scenes.

The container of death was delivered to the Nairobi Area Police Station in Milimani, Nairobi County.

As the investigation tightened, the SSU team relocated the blood-stained container to the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road.

A forensic investigation is underway to learn more about the number of victims.

"This is a horror scene, a dark story scripted by those who are supposed to provide light," a detective said.

The investigators are now pursuing three cases following successful investigations that revealed the activities of the dreaded unit that has since been disbanded. The cases include that of the Indians and their taxi driver, John Obunde, apprehended in Kawangware, and the kidnapping of Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi in December 2021. All the cases are linked to the SSU team.

The two Indians, Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and his friend Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai, worked in the media in their home country.

Acting Indian High Commissioner at the Indian Embassy in Kenya Rohit Vadwana told journalists yesterday he was unable to comment on the matter. He said India's PM Narendra Modi has taken it up and is in contact with President William Ruto.

He added: "We have opened our own investigations into the matter."


According to the media in India, Khan worked as the COO of Balaji Telefilms, the Over the Top platform Managing Director of HOOQ (a Singaporean video-on-demand streaming service), and the Business Head and Chief Revenue Officer of Eros Now (an Indian subscription-based over-the-top, video-on-demand entertainment and media platform).

His friend Zulfiqar was a cyber-security consultant.

On July 23, the two were kidnapped along with Nicodemus Mwania, a taxi driver.

The two were already working for Ruto ahead of the August elections, having visited Nairobi, Tsavo, Homa Bay, the Rift Valley, and the Coastal region.

"Sometimes, when our team was overburdened and we needed graphics, I sent the material their way, and they paused whatever they were doing and did me the favour," Dennis Itumbi said on Facebook.

Contacted for comment, Itumbi said "I will not comment since the matter is being investigated and the suspects will be prosecuted soon. There are also other investigations going on, and the details will come out soon."

The incident was reported at Akila police station and picked up by the Lang'ata DCI officers after Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi complained to then Inspector General of Police (IG) Hillary Mutyambai that his clients had disappeared.

However, the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) at the police service said the officers from Lang'ata were frustrated by their bosses and counterparts at the DCI headquarters.

Abdullahi also moved to the High Court in Nairobi on June 26 to compel the IG to produce the three men in court. The senior counsel said the three were abducted by people believed to be police officers.

High Court judge Hedwig Ong'udi ordered the IG to produce Zaid Sami Kidwai, Zulfiqar Khan, and Nicodemus Mwania within five days, but the police failed.

However, the investigation by the IAU identified 12 officers, who were part of the disbanded SSU, and revealed details of the abduction and murder of Khan, Zaidi and Mwania in Nairobi.

Three officers revealed that after killing the victims at Nairobi's container of death in Milimani police station, they took their remains to Aberdare Forest.

On Monday, the IAU mobilised 100 police officers from several stations who camped in the forest in search of the remains of Khan, Zaid and Mwania.

The 100 officers found bones, clothes, and belts believed to belong to the missing Indians and the driver, which were transported from Aberdare Forest to Nairobi for forensic analysis.

Meanwhile, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority said in a statement to newsrooms that it will today hold a presser to, among other issues, "provide investigation updates and way forward on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya".

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