, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 2 – Sixteen suspects, among them current and former directors of the Kihiu Mwiri land buying company, have been charged with four counts of murder attributed to leadership wrangles.
The accused are Joseph Thiong’o Waweru, Henry Ngugi Karuga alias Mwene CIO, Julius Kanyiri Wambui alias Kamurang’a, John Njoroge Gacho alias Njinalo, Harrison Bibande Marubu, Joseph Muchui Muiruri, Bernard Murigi Karanja, Josphat Macharia Marubu alias Kasee, Mary Mugechi Mburu, Joseph Nyamu Kago alias Kimangu, Patrick Ikuu Mugo, Samwel Njeru Mburu, Peter Mburu Mungai, Peter Murigi Ngige, Zackaria Ngaruiya Mutwe and John Kamau Kariuki.
Together they’re accused of murdering one Peter Kimani Kuria on May 10, at Kihiu Mwiri in Murang’a, Paul Muhuhi Bernard on June 28 at Majengo Estate in Thika Township, Josphat Kibe Nyoike on July 29 at Kihiu Mwiri in Murang’a and Zakary Chege Kiratu also on July 29 in Kihiu Mwiri, Murang’a.
They were presented before Justice Jessie Lessit on Wednesday who deferred their plea taking to September 21 after the vacation period ends as the prosecution was not prepared with the mental assessment reports of the accused despite their assertion that they were all found competent.
Seven of the directors were arrested in July, while the rest were picked up by police after their initial court appearance in August.
Justice Nicholas Ombija had on August 24 given the State until September 2 to either charge or release seven of the 16 suspects who had been in police custody without charge for 28 days.
At the time, when applying for the extended detention of the seven suspects without charge before Ombija, State Counsel Catherine Mwaniki said the police intended to make more arrests as they went about recovering weapons which investigations had led them to believe were used in 10 murders committed in the period between March 25, 2014 and July 29, 2015 in Kiambu and Murang’a and believed to be linked to Kihiu Mwiri.
Defence counsels Evans Ondieki and Mbiyu Kariuki opposed the charges, accusing the police and prosecution of violating the Constitutional rights of the accused by holding them without charge for an extended period of time.
A complaint Justice Lessit said should be submitted to the court in writing.