Family honours Muchai as murder mystery lingers

Sunday February 7 2016

The late Kabete MP George Muchai during a press briefing at Whitesands Beach Resort on January 1, 2014. Seven suspects are on trial over the death of the legislator-trade unionist, his driver and bodyguard on the morning of February 7 last year. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The late Kabete MP George Muchai during a press briefing at Whitesands Beach Resort on January 1, 2014. Seven suspects are on trial over the death of the legislator-trade unionist, his driver and bodyguard on the morning of February 7 last year. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VINCENT ACHUKA
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By FRED MUKINDA
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The family of former Kabete MP George Muchai, who was killed one year ago on today's date, held a private memorial for the fallen legislator on Saturday as questions persist about what exactly happened.

Seven suspects are on trial over the death of the legislator-trade unionist, his driver and bodyguard at the heart of Nairobi’s Central Business District on the morning of February 7 last year.

“It is one year since he rested but his legacy of impacting the lives of workers lives on,” said his family in advertisements run in the Daily Nation ahead of the anniversary.

“There is a link that death cannot sever; love and remembrance last forever,” they said.

A private ceremony to unveil the cross on his grave was held at his home in Kamulu with a public prayer service slated for Sunday at St Joseph’s ACK Church, Kanyariri, in Kabete.

The MP was felled by gunmen when he stopped to buy newspapers on Kenyatta Avenue.

A witness testifying in the case against the legislator’s alleged killers told the court two weeks ago that Muchai was shot before paying for the four copies of newspapers he had bought.

“The white car appeared shortly after the one carrying the MP pulled over and stopped directly in front of it as if to block it,” the witness said.

“A masked tall man stepped out of the co-driver’s side armed with a gun. He stepped out and started shooting, first at the driver. I fell down with my bunch of newspapers,” the witness said.

A week before his death, Mr Muchai had claimed that his life was in danger and he already survived one assassination attempt.

GUN RECOVERED
The MP and his family, two bodyguards and driver had been out for dinner at a restaurant on King’ara Road near Nakumatt Junction before leaving for Galileo's on Waiyaki Way.

The party was riding in two vehicles; a Toyota Fortuner KBF 357D and a Toyota Mark X KBX 987L with the MP being driven in the Fortuner and his family, including his wife Susan and a nephew, travelling in the other car.

From Waiyaki Way, they moved towards the city centre, and stopped on Kenyatta Avenue to buy newspapers.

As the transaction between the vendor and the occupants was going on, another car stopped in front of the car that was carrying Mr Muchai.

Two other gunmen came out and one of them pulled open the door where the MP was seated and took out an item that looked like a box.

Barely a week after the killing, on February 13, police recovered a Ceska pistol and a G3 rifle which they said were the killer weapons and arrested the suspects at Area 87 near Kinoo.

The seven – Eric Isabwa alias Chairman, Raphael Kimani alias Kim Butcheri, Mustapha Kimani alias Musto, Stephen Astiva alias Chokore, Jane Wanjiru alias Shiro, Margaret Njeri and Simon Wambugu – have all denied the murder charge. The hearing continues.

Mr Muchai was buried at his home in Kamulu on February 13.