A man suspected of being behind a spate of killings of prostitutes in Nakuru Town will undergo a psychiatric test before he is charged with murder, a Nakuru High Court ruled Monday.
Mr Aston Wachira, 32, appeared before Justice Maureen Odero but was not required to take a plea.
According to the charge sheet, Mr Wachira is responsible for the death of Ms Maureen Wanjiru, alias Wahu, in Nakuru on Saturday night.
Justice Odero further ordered the registrar to assign a lawyer to the suspect before he pleads to the murder charges.
The judge issued the orders after the prosecution successfully applied for the suspect to undergo a mental evaluation to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.
“The court hereby directs the suspect be remanded for two weeks to undergo a medical examination before he appears in court to plead to the charges facing him,” Justice Odero ruled.
Earlier, the suspect, who appeared confused and disgruntled, said his name was different from the one appearing on the charge sheet.
“My name is not Aston Wachira as claimed by the prosecution. I demand my name be changed before I take my plea,” he said.
REMANDED IN PRISON
The court directed the accused be remanded at the Nakuru GK Prison until February, when he will appear before the same court to take a plea.
Mr Wachira was arrested in Freehold Estate on Saturday night in connection with the killings, which have left residents in shock.
He was arrested as he was transporting a woman police believed was one of his victims.
According to the prosecution, police stopped a tuk tuk during a routine patrol, then noticed a woman who appeared to be unconscious on the passenger seat.
The woman was taken to a hospital, where she was said to have died, as the suspect was arrested by the police.
On Sunday, sex workers held demonstrations along the streets of Nakuru Town over the killing of 10 of their colleagues.
At the same time, two MPs in the region have urged members of the county assembly to enact laws to protect commercial sex workers in the area.
Mr Samuel Arama (Nakuru West) and Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) said the killings of prostitutes will drop if laws are put in place to protect them.
“As a community, we must accept that prostitutes are here to stay, and I urge the MCAs to pass laws to protect them against those killing them,” said Mr Arama.
More than 10 commercial sex workers have been killed in the county in the past five months.
Mr Arama said the county government should take a leaf from India and other countries where commercial sex workers have designated areas to operate from.