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2 thieving Westgate soldiers sacked, jailed – Karangi

General Julius Karangi with Capital FM editor Rob Jillo (C) and the Nation's Macharia Gaitho/CFM

General Julius Karangi with Capital FM editor Rob Jillo (C) and the Nation’s Macharia Gaitho/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – The Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Julius Karangi has revealed that two soldiers have been dismissed for stealing from the Westgate mall following the September 21 terror attack.

The two who were identified as Victor Otieno and Victor Ashiundu stand accused of stealing mobile phones and cameras from the mall.

“The rest of course will be water which has been a subject of a lot of debate,” Karangi joked before holding up a bottle of KDF branded water and declaring, “as you can see we manufacture our own water.”

The jokes aside, the officer who allegedly permitted his subordinates to take water from the Nakumatt supermarket also faces disciplinary action for his, “lack of judgement,” Karangi said.

Another soldier who was whisked away from a Nakuru court by military police on Tuesday is also being investigated for theft.

Isaiah Wanjala of the 20 Para Battalion stationed at Kenyatta Barracks in Gilgil was taken before Senior Principal Magistrate Loise Komingoi together with his girlfriend before the military intervened.

Wanjala and the mother of his child were arrested after the police were tipped off that the latter was hawking four mobile phones, a Sony projector and camera suspected to be stolen.

The soldier was later implicated when his girlfriend was forced to reveal where she obtained the items and it was in that way that the Westgate link was established.

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And should the military police also find that Wanjala has a case to answer, he like Otieno and Ashiundu faces dismissal, a court martial and jail time.

The three join two Administration Police officers, Billy Maina and Patrick Mwangangi, on the disciplined forces list of shame.

They are accused of attempting to steal a car and two pairs of Adidas sports shoes.

Wanjiru Kabira of the fire brigade, a former Westgate shopping attendant Elizabeth Wangare and one Leonard Muirigi are also on the hook for theft.

Karangi however described Otieno and Ashiundu’s dismissals as isolated incidents insisting that by and large his officers conducted themselves with the discipline expected of them.

He says this discipline is extended to the battle fields of Somalia where his officers have also been accused of commandeering the residents’ charcoal businesses.


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