Two police officers arrested over the killing of a man in a hospital in Mwingi were arraigned in a Machakos court.
The officers of the rank of inspector and corporal attached to the Kitui DCI office were arrested following the killing of Fredrick Musyimi, 27, at Mwingi Level Four Hospital.
The prosecution requested the court to deny the media permission to take photographs.
“Since we are going to have an identification parade in 10 days’ time we request the media not to take pictures because once they are published they will interfere with completion of the investigations,” the prosecutor requested the magistrate’s court.
Before the two suspects appeared in the dock, Machakos Deputy Registrar Lucy Kaitany asked journalists to leave and the court’s doors were locked.
“I hereby accept conditions of the application which has been made today and will only be recorded in court in camera. I also request that no photographs be taken for publication of the media,” Ms Kaitany said.
Earlier Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said investigations were ongoing.
“They were arrested and the probe is ongoing. The two will take plea for the murder of the young man in Mwingi as the probe goes on,” Mr Boinnet said.
Investigators handling the saga say they intend to arrest more officers.
“There seem to be more players in this thing and we expect to arrest even the driver who was with them,” said an officer.
The police had earlier come under fire after details of the killing pointed to the possibility of involvement of uniformed officers in the macabre assassination of the hawker and a lacklustre response when a surviving witness sought protection from police after it emerged that her life was in danger.
Musyimi’s sister, Sharlyne Malia, who was with him as he was fatally shot by the killers at dawn on Thursday sought police protection on Saturday after intimating that her life was in danger. After contacting police spokesperson Charles Owino, she was later referred to the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) who in turn told her to wait until Monday for assistance.
“The first port of call for such incidents should be the police force. I find it troubling that the police spokesperson would refer this case to us without even assuring the safety of the witness. Are they telling us as IPOA to do their job?” IPOA Chairman Macharia Njeru told the Standard yesterday.
He explained that his advisory statements to Ms Malia’s family were only meant to ensure proper procedure was followed.
“We are an institution that wants to do things by the book. And for this we have suffered backlash even from the police force itself. We have a rapid deployment team that handles such cases and we have already linked the family up with them,” he said.
“Sometimes, cases are determined or dismissed on mere technicalities from failure by investigators to follow proper procedure. We do everything in our abilities to ensure this does not happen and that the people who come to us get the justice they deserve.”
Malia spent the most part of yesterday at IPOA offices with investigators.
“We can assure the public that the case shall be pursued to a logical conclusion,” Mr Njeru said.
Detectives from Nairobi, Machakos and Embu are investigating the killing.
Boinnet said the team is investigating many issues including why the officers who took him to hospital did not guard him as required for anyone found with bullet wounds.
He added that the team investigating the incident had covered many issues and would recommend various charges on separate suspects.
Malia claimed the men who killed her brother are after her. She slithered out of a family meeting at Kathiani village in Kitui West, after claiming that two men came looking for her.
“A man claiming to be a CID officer had earlier called me saying there were new developments on my brother’s killing and wanted us to meet. He also claimed two people who were policeofficers based in Mwingi had been arrested over the killing and wanted me to go and identify the suspects,” Malia, who visited Standard Group offices in Nairobi after escaping home, said.
Nurses and clinical officers at the hospital have demanded a full-time armed police guard following last week’s killing of the patient. The medical workers on Friday night stormed out ofwards and boycotted work after two strange men were spotted inside the ward where Musyimi was brutally murdered.
On Thursday at dawn, two strangers stormed a surgical ward where Musyimi was admitted with gunshot wounds and pumped bullets into his stomach, killing him instantly as his sister watched.
Earlier in the day, Musyimi, a hawker in Kitui town, was picked by four men claiming to be police officers who bundled him into a white car and drove with him to Ukasi along the Mwingi-Garissa highway where they shot him several times.
Musyimi, however, survived the first gun attack and was rescued by police officers from Ukasi Police Station and taken to Mwingi Level Four Hospital where he was later killed.
Musyimi’s brother, Mukando Malia, said he last saw him on August 19.
“He had a wound in the ear. He told me he had been shot by police after a robbery at Wikilily, about three kilometres from Kitui town. I nursed him,” he said.
Insiders said Musyimi had been linked to an incident in which a child of a police officer was slashed to death.
— Additional reporting by Daniel Wesangula