State seeks 14 days to detain suspect behind Kasarani shooting

Dickson Njanja Mararo who is accused of shooting three people appears at a Milimani court. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A man who last Friday allegedly fired shots at Quivers Lounge along Thika Road injuring two police officers and a woman was Tuesday arraigned in court with investigators seeking 14 days to detain him pending the conclusion of investigations.

Dickson Njanja Mararo surrendered to police on Monday and spent the night in custody awaiting the ruling of Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul on whether he will be detained for two weeks.

State Prosecutor Eveline Onunga told the court that investigators need 14 days to review CCTV footage, record witness statements and conduct an identification parade.

“It is worth noting that one of the victims is still in critical condition and the investigators have not concluded investigators which will lead to him being charged with attempted murder,” said Onunga.

Onunga relied on an affidavit by Geoffrey Ndatho, who swore that Mararo shot two police officers - Lawrence Muturi and Festus Musyoka, and a waitress Felistas Nzisa.

According to the investigator, Muturi was shot in the arm and was discharged after treatment while Nzisa, who was shot in the abdomen, was admitted and discharged on Tuesday morning.

“He shot Musyoka in the neck with the officer still admitted in the hospital in critical condition. After the incident, the suspect fled the scene and was in hiding until Monday. He did not even report to any police station as required for every licensed firearm holder,” said Ndatho.

Ndatho said the investigators have already retrieved CCTV footage from the scene of the shooting which they need to review before bringing formal charges against Mararo.

He added that they need time to subject Mararo’s gun to ballistic examination and obtain a medical report of the officer who is still admitted.

Lawyer Dan Maanzo -representing the victim - supported the application to detain Mararo arguing that doctors were yet to fully ascertain the medical status of the police officer.

“The suspect might end up being charged with attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm or any other charge since the health condition of the victim is not ascertained. It is our plea that the suspect be detained until we know his health status,” said Maanzo.

But lawyer Cliff Ombeta representing Mararo argued that there is no justification to detain him for 14 days.

According to Ombeta, police have already recorded statements from key witnesses and the suspect has no capacity to interfere with their analysis of CCTV footage.

“They do not need the victim in custody for the victim to heal and in any event, his photographs are everywhere, so the police don’t need any parade for official identification,” said Ombeta.

The magistrate is scheduled to rule on July 7 on the application to detain Mararo for two weeks.