An inquest probing the death of prison warder’s wife and daughter alleged to have been set ablaze by convicts in cahoots with some warder’s was put off after a suspect asked for more time.
A retired prisons warder, Daniel Kangu said to be one of the suspects asked Kakamega Senior Resident Magistrate Erick Malesi for more time to prepare for defense.
He is alleged to have been working in collaboration with prisoners at Kakamega Main Prison where they torched the house of a prison warder Francis Jumba Unga’anya in what is said to be a revenge mission.
In the January 27, 2016 incident, Jumba lost his wife Nicole Osinde and daughter Petronilla Jumba who succumbed to serious burn injuries as a result of the said arson attack.
Through lawyer Calystus Shifwoka, Kangu told the court that the Investigating Officer had delayed in supplying the witness statements making him unable to prepare fully for defence.
“The matter was coming for a hearing today. However, I shall not be able to proceed since I have been supplied with witness statements today. I am applying to be given another hearing date,” said Mr Shifwoka.
The suspect who was released on a Sh100, 000 bond is said to have been on a revenge mission after some convicts at Kakamega Main Prison were assaulted by officers
The inmates planned a revenge mission targeting prison warders where it is believed that some warders were involved including Mr Kangu.
According to court documents, arson was one of the ways the revenge was to be carried out.
Eunice Malimo, a house help who narrowly escaped death during the incident earlier had told the court that she heard an explosion in the house and rushed to the deceased persons’ rooms but they were sound asleep.
She managed to wake them up but on her way back, she fell unconscious in the siting room due to immense smoke.
The inquest had on January 2017 been closed but the trial magistrate ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to conduct further investigations into the possible cause of death for the young women.
Mr Malesi noted that the investigations were incomplete saying that the officers were protecting their colleagues adversely mentioned in the inquest.
This led to the file being re-opened in April where officers who implicated lined as possible suspects.
Through prosecution Counsel Hilda Omondi the DPP consented to adjourn the matter.
“We are not opposed to the application by the suspect’s advocate. It is true that he got the documents today and it is within the interests of justice that they be given time to prepare for the inquest,” said Ms Omondi.
The magistrate slate the matter for November 5.