Detectives visit Mwangaza's home in probe on blogger's murder

Upper Eastern DCI Coordinator Lenny Kisaka (centre), Homicide Director Martin Nyuguto (right) and County Secretary Kiambi Atheru outside Meru governor's official residence. Inset, slain blogger Benard Muthiani. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Homicide detectives from the DCI headquarters spent the better part of Saturday at the residence of Governor Kawira Mwangaza in Meru seeking clues to the murder of Benard Muthiani alias ‘Sniper’.

This is the second time the detectives have visited Meru County in an effort to unravel the murder of the blogger.  

On Friday, the investigators arrested six suspects who are now helping the police with investigations into the murder of Muthiani who was a critic of Mwangaza's administration.

The governor for the first time spoke about the blogger's murder urging leaders to politise the matter and allow the DCI to conduct investigations.

Mwangaza denied claims that the blogger visited her official residence before his death.

Police sources have told The Standard that the blogger could have been lured to his death by people known to him.

Sources familiar with the investigations yesterday said that the investigators had relied on call records to apprehend the six suspects in police custody.

“We have noted that there was constant communication between these individuals before and even after the murder of the blogger, “ the source said.

“One of the suspects spoke to the blogger for more than 10 minutes on the day he is said to have gone missing," said detectives who sought anonymity.

The arrest of some individuals close to the governor has fueled political tension in Meru County months after she survived impeachment.

Police said one of the suspects allegedly called the blogger to arrange a meeting with the governor after he posted videos perceived as attacks on Mwangaza on social media.

 Muthiani disappeared on December 2 after leaving his home at Kabuitu in Igembe South to allegedly meet Mr Muthiri.

The blogger's widow claimed that the caller had reportedly arranged for a meeting between Muthiani and the governor.

His body was discovered at a riverbank in the neighbouring Tharaka Nithi county on December 6.

A postmortem conducted by Government Chief Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor revealed that Muthiani died of strangulation.

 Mwangaza spoke on the murder of the blogger in a radio interview with vernacular media stations in Meru where she denied claims that the blogger visited her official residence.

The county boss said the official residence located in Milimani has CCTV surveillance but police are yet to request for the footage.

She accused her political opponents of using Muthiani’s death to gain political mileage.

“The investigative agencies are conducting the investigations and I believe Sniper will get justice,” she said.

“The official residence of the governor has numerous CCTV cameras but nobody has requested for footage,” she said.

Further, Mwangaza said she does not host meetings at night, save for when she hosted an MCA and an activist.

The governor revealed that the MCA visited her residence to seek reconciliation after her second impeachment.

She said the investigators should be left to do their job and decried attempts to politicise the probe into the blogger's murder.

“Leaders should avoid politicising the murder because there is a grieving family. It is unfortunate people try to gain political mileage as the family grieves,” she said.

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