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Keroche owner accuses DPP of cover-up ahead of inquest

By Paul Ogemba | October 7th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja. [File, Standard]

An inquest into the death of Keroche Breweries heiress Tecra Muigai will proceed after a Nairobi court dismissed attempts by the prosecution to block her mother from filing evidence in the case.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji, had opposed the admission of an affidavit filed by Tecra's mother Tabitha but Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul ruled it was properly before the court.

“The DPP is at liberty to file a response to issues she has raised before we proceed with the inquest,” ruled Abdul.

Filed affidavit 

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Karanja, the Keroche Breweries chief executive officer, averred in her affidavit that there are attempts by the DPP to cover up her daughter's death and wants a special prosecutor appointed to handle the inquest.

She is fighting to have the inquest heard in Nairobi after the DPP filed an application to withdraw the case and have the matter transferred to Lamu.

Karanja, in her affidavit, detailed the pain the family had gone through since Tecra's death in May, which she says has been worsened by the DPP's indecisiveness in bringing the culprits to book.

“My daughter's death is the most painful experience for me as a parent. We allowed the authorities to investigate and punish the crime but a number of things have happened which have made us lose faith in the DPP,” swore Karanja.

She said the DPP’s withdrawal of murder charges against Tecra's boyfriend Omar Lali and attempt to move the inquest from Nairobi to Lamu had created suspicion on his independence.

Karanja swore that her family fears going to Lamu given that Omar is influential within the island and has many boats and beach boys who he can use to harm her family.

“Boat transport is the most reliable in Lamu but since the key suspect owns and operates many boats, the family has well-founded fear and may not travel to attend the inquest without a significant threat to their lives," she swore.

She swore that they were shocked to learn the DPP had made the application to withdraw the inquest from Nairobi when many witnesses, including doctors who attended to Tecra after she was flown from Lamu, are in Nairobi.

Her bid to have the inquest heard in Nairobi was supported by investigating officer Fredrick Odemba who swore that the deceased died while undergoing treatment in Nairobi with most witnesses who attended to her also within the city.

Homicide detectives

Odemba also filed the findings of a special unit of homicide detectives who investigated Tecra’s death and concluded that Omar should be held responsible for her death.

According to the investigation, Omar’s actions – cleaning of the scene, packing her clothes and inconsistencies in his evidence – after Tecra fell on the stairs, put him at the centre of the matter.

Odemba’s report filed in court showed that Omar and Tecra had been in a tumultuous nine-month relationship where he would get violent and bully her.

The report says Omar was a psychological bully and would physically fight anyone who came close to Tecra, and that he was a joyrider who depended on his lover for everything. The detectives also concluded that the injury on Tecra’s head was inconsistent with a normal fall on the stairs, which suggest there could have been something more.

The magistrate gave the DPP until Friday to file a response to Karanja’s affidavit and scheduled the hearing on October 14.

Noordin Haji Omar Lali Tecra Muigai Keroche
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