MPs allege Kenya-UK cover up in Agnes Wanjiru's murder case

Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations Chairperson, Katoo Ole Metito during a meeting with Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa, over the murder of Ms Agnes Wanjiru on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 [David Njaaga, Standard]

A parliamentary committee has raised concerns that the Kenyan and United Kingdom (UK) authorities could be engaged in a cover up hence delay in Agnes Wanjiru’s murder case.

Defence and Foreign Relations committee yesterday said how the case was handled was suspect, questioning the delay despite the inquest being concluded in 2019.

They argued that the government did not act despite the cause of death being concluded to be murder.

According to the Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito led-committee, some powerful forces in the two governments have been frustrating justice in the brutal murder of the 21-year-old.

The committee had summoned Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa to give an update of the case.

The MPs seemed unsatisfied with the pace the case is being handled, accusing the two states of working together to save their bilateral relations.

This was after Wamalwa said the relations of the two still have to be considered.

“I do not think it will be in our national interest to say we do away with the defence corporation agreement because it is in our national interest to have that agreement,” he said.

But MPs led by Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo said the biggest concern is cover up in incidences of criminal conducts that are only unraveled after a media expose.

“Who are these senior executives in Kenya who decided to cooperate with the executive in the UK to ensure this matter goes down?” he posed.

He added, “Clearly someone did not play his or her role and we will have to summon all parties involved to settle this matter. Either someone didn’t play their role or there is someone with quite an influence out there.”

The MP said he failed to understand why the case is being reopened and who closed it at the time and the reason behind that decision.

He also sought to know how the soldiers left the country despite the case.

Saku MP Rao Dido posed: “Don’t you think as a country we have not done so well in putting the lives of our citizens as a priority how can the national interest be of more importance than the life of the people"?

Kenyan police chief Hilary Mutyambai on his twitter account, said he had directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to reopen the case and compile all available evidence and witness accounts to ensure the case is concluded before a court of law.

“Remember it takes two to tangle. The procedure would have been that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Inspector General to pursue the case. You sit in the cabinet, and the main question here is why is that no action was taken by the two institutions, by the relevant agencies,” Kilonzo said.

Wamalwa however maintained that the British government has committed to cooperate in the country’s effort to ensure the soldiers who murdered Agnes Wanjiru are brought to book.

“We owe it to her to ensure she gets the justice that she deserves. As we speak, action is being taken,” Wamalwa said

Despite the CS maintaining that Kenya has the primary jurisdiction of the case, the legislators urged the government not to be so keen in protecting the relationship with the British government and forget about their own people.

According to him, in Wanjiru’s murder the country has the legal and the institutional framework to deal with the case because of the defence corporation agreement between the two.

“Once investigations are concluded and charges preferred, then the culprits upon request will be processed to come and face justice. Although the culprits are in the UK, they are willing to extradite them,” Wamalwa said.

But Saboti MP Caleb Amisi said: “These people have lost their daughter it is not fair to say let’s look at the bigger picture. We want to ensure that these agreements that these two states sign will be effective.”

Wanjiru was killed by a British soldier in Nanyuki in 2012 and her body found in a septic tank at a hotel.