Officer who shot two had been sacked

Nakuru Vegas Club owner Laura Kwasira was shot by a police officer over Sh13,000 unpaid bills. [Bernard Lusigi, Standard]

As police in Nakuru investigate a shooting incident at an entertainment joint which left two people dead, details have emerged on the dark past of the rogue police officer involved.

Police Constable Nicholas Musau, who is under investigation over the death of two people in a bar brawl, is not new to controversy and has found himself behind bars.

On the evening of December 12, 2023, Constable Musau walked into Vegas Club along Nakuru’s Oginga Odinga Road in civilian clothes but identified himself to security guards as a police officer.

Nakuru County Police Commander Samuel Ndanyi says that Musau was not officially on duty.

“He had been assigned a firearm with 15 rounds of ammunition for an assignment. That evening, he was supposed to hand back the gun and be on standby but he didn’t turn up. We had already booked him for not being actively on duty as expected,” said Ndanyi.

At the club, Ndanyi said, Musau ordered drinks, while in the company of other people, whose bill of Sh13,000 became the cause of a deadly confrontation.

"Some of those in his company may have been police officers. They had however left by the time of the shooting which happened at around 2am,” said Ndanyi.

It is alleged that Musau whipped out his gun when bouncers demanded that he leaves the club with his drinks after a confrontation with a waitress over the bill.

“It is not yet clear whether he had paid the bill in cash as he claims or whether the waitress's claims that he had not paid are true. This is what triggered the shooting,” he said.

Those who were shot were the waitress, Ann Maina, who died minutes later, the bar owner Laura Kwasira who died a day after surgery in the ICU and bouncers Edwin Abung’ana and Benjamin Kote.

Abung’ana and Kote are still recuperating at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital with multiple bullet injuries.

Musau was arrested on the streets of Nakuru, with Ndanyi revealing that he appeared confused.

The police constable was arraigned in court last week but did not take a plea as the police were granted seven more days to conclude their investigations.

As the investigators dig into this specific case, the incident has brought to the fore details of Musau as a cop who ironically has been on the wrong side of the law in Nakuru and other areas.

It is alleged that similar conduct saw Musau banned from entering a bar located within Nakuru’s CBD over a year ago. Patrons who frequent the bar describe him as ‘rough’.

“The bar is popular among older patrons who love their drink in a calm environment. He, twice caused a scene while his gun was visibly tucked. He was peacefully ejected and told never to come back,” a patron who sought anonymity said.

The bar management declined to comment on the incident.

Musau was on June 28, 2020, among three people arrested for allegedly conning recruits during the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) recruitment at Endebess Sub-County headquarters.

Musau, another officer and a woman were accused of soliciting money from parents who had brought their sons and daughters to participate in the recruitment.

The trio had allegedly received Sh250,000 from a parent and issued him a KDF calling letter when recruitment officials intervened and arrested them. The letter would later be discovered to be fake.

"We arrested the three as the recruitment was going on and verified the letters as fake," Mokonani Balata who was then the officer in charge of KDF recruitment in North Rift told the press.

Musau was charged with obtaining money by false pretence and was later interdicted.

A police source told The Standard that Musau was reinstated a year ago after the case was ruled in his favour.

"I don't know under which circumstances Musau's case was ruled in his favour. What I'm aware is that he was reinstated after the case was completed and deployed in Laikipia County before he influenced his transfer to Nakuru," said an officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Back to Kitale, Musau served in the area for almost four years before he was arrested and charged. He served at Matisi Police Station, where a source said his duties remained mysterious.

"Unlike other officers who are normally on duty, Musau was busy engaged with personal issues," said Musau's colleague at his former station.

Musau frequented social places and was generous to many people.

"The guy was generous, and he could buy drinks for people. But what I didn't like about him, was that he was rough and quick to act if you annoyed him," said a source who interacted with him in Kitale. 

An attendant at one of the bars that Musau frequented in Kitale, told The Standard how the officer could invite his seniors and drown them with drinks.

"When he steps in, he orders about five bottles of beers for himself and when joined with friends he buys them not less than three bottles each. There was a time he came with his senior, he drowned him with beers before he dismissed him with some cash. I don't know where he used to get the money," said the attendant.

The attendant further said Musau spent most of his time playing pool and drinking.

The recent incident has caught the attention of Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome who have described the incident as regrettable.

“For the Nakuru case, we shall not wait for Ipoa to come in. That is a matter that will go straight to court,” said Koome.