NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Seven former and current directors of land buying firm Kihiu Mwiri were ordered detained for a further eight days on Monday after investigating officers sought more time to complete investigations into 10 deaths they are suspected of involvement in.
State counsel Catherine Mwaniki told Justice Nicholas Ombija that the deaths being investigated occurred between March 25, 2014 and July 29, 2015 in Muranga and Kiambu counties where the firm has holdings.
Mwaniki told the court that the police needed more time due to the “vastness” of the area in which the suspected murders took place and to follow up on leads unearthed during the interrogation of the eight suspects.
She said based on this information, the police were in the process of recovering firearms believed to be those used in the murders which could lead to more arrests.
The suspects, Joseph Waweru, Henry Ngugi, Harrison Kibande, Bernard Murigi, Josephat Macharia and Mary Mburu have been in custody for the last 20 days and Ombija made clear that there would be no further extensions on their detainment without charge once 28 days were up.
“Either charge them or release them. They must be well known in their communities so you can go get them from their homes once you build a case,” Ombija observed.
Their legal representative Mbiyu Kamau objected to their continued detention accusing the police of, “dragging their feet,” in their investigations.
He also accused them of acting in bad faith saying his clients were honouring a simple invitation to record statements when they were arrested, presented before a Kiambu court on August 3 and detained.
Mwaniki however insisted that the police needed the eight days to conclude cyber and data analysis and ballistic examinations having initially sought 30 days from the Kiambu court on August 3.
Given the, “violent,” nature of the 10 deaths under investigation, Ombija said, he was inclined to grant the police request for an additional eight days to decide whether and what to charge the eight suspects with, if at all.
On July 30, Directorate of Criminal Investigations head Ndegwa Muhoro ordered former and current directors of Kihiu Mwiri to present themselves to the DCI headquarters days after two of their co-directors were murdered.