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EX-KDF officer on trial for wife’s murder denied bail over probable witness tampering

Major Peter Mugure (pictured) was arrested after detectives recovered the bodies of his estranged wife Joyce Syombua (31), children Shanice Maua (10) and Prince Michael (5) at a cemetery in Thingithu area near the Laikipia Air Base on Saturday/CFM

NYERI, Kenya, Feb 21 – A former Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officer Peter Mugure, who is accused of killing his wife Syombua and two children, was Friday denied bail the court citing the likelihood of witness tampering.

Justice Jairus Ngaah sitting at the Nyeri High Court noted the suspect had sent his sister to persuade a co-suspect in the murder case to recant a statement he’d recorded with the police.

A co-accused Friday narrated to the court how Mugure called him and handed over the bodies for disposal. He said Mugure promised him a job in the military during a subsequent recruitment exercise.

“He told me not to be shocked. He told me this is the job he’d called me for. He told me never to tell me what I’d seen and if he ever heard anything he’d also kill me. He also assured me that he’d make sure that I will be recruited to the military during a national recruitment which was near.He told me to help him carry the bodies to his car,” the co-accused told the court.

Justice Jairus Ngaah reads a statement recorded by one of the accused persons in the murder case.

The ex-Air Force Major was first arraigned in court on November 18, 2019 during which appearance the court ordered his continued detention pending charges.

He was later charged on January 10, 2020 after police concluded investigations.

Major Peter Mugure was arrested after detectives recovered the bodies of his estranged wife Joyce Syombua (31), children Shanice Maua (10) and Prince Michael (5) at a cemetery in Thingithu area near the Laikipia Air Base on Saturday.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations’ (DCI) Serious Crimes Unit indicated the bodies had been piled on top of each other inside a shallow grave.

The accused was said to have hosted the three at the Laikipia Air Base where they stayed before departing for Nairobi where they lived.

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Collins Pamba, a 21-year-old worker at the senior officer’s mess within the military base led detectives to the cemetery where the bodies of the three victims were exhumed.

Major Mugure was arrested on November 15, 2019 days after his wife and children went missing and just a day before their bodies were discovered.

Syombua the children disappeared on October 25 after visiting Major Mugure in Nanyuki.

The air force officer had prior to the incident been ordered to pay maintenance costs for his two children after a DNA test to establish his paternity turned positive. 

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