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Court upholds 7 year jail terms for trigger-happy Kwale cops

Makhandia further said the court could not interfere with the High Court judgment issued on February 10, 2016/FILE

MOMBASA, Kenya, Feb 17 – The Court of Appeal in Mombasa on Friday upheld a seven-year jail sentence handed to two police officers accused of murdering 14-year-old Kwekwe Mwandaza in Kwale County three years ago.

Judge Asike Makhandia dismissed their appeal saying the murder of the girl was unlawful.

Makhandia further said the court could not interfere with the High Court judgment issued on February 10, 2016.

Kinango DCIO Veronicah Gitahi and Constable Issa Mzee were found guilty of committing the offense on August 22, 2014 in Kinango.

They were jailed for seven years by High Court judge Martin Muya for manslaughter.

Mwandaza was shot dead during the operation in which eight officers stormed her family’s home in Mwaweu village, Kinango.

An autopsy report indicated that she was shot twice – in head and chest – leading to her death.

Making the ruling, the judge decried the rampant misuse of firearms among Kenya police.

He said the two officers were reckless.

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Muya noted that police did not conduct surveillance when they undertook the operation in search of a wanted murder suspect whom they claimed was hiding in the house where Mwandaza was.

Muya said the suspect was not in the house as alleged by the two officers who were leading the operation.

He said he was of the view that the operation which was led by Inspector Gitahi, a former DCIO in Kinango, was botched.

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