Deputy CJ denies mall gun threat - Daily Nation

Deputy CJ denies mall gun threat

Wednesday January 4 2012

Nancy Baraza gun saga
Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza has apologised for the
Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza has apologised for the "unfortunate" incident at Village Market on Saturday saying she had no intention of "arrogance or ill will" January 4, 2012. FILE
By ANGIRA ZADOCK [email protected]

Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza on Wednesday denied threatening a security guard with a gun during a scuffle in a Nairobi shopping mall.

Ms Baraza admitted that there was a confrontation with the Village Market guard, Ms Rebecca Kerubo, but denied the gun claim.

“I have never been issued with a gun,” Ms Baraza told the Nation.

Her denial came as Ms Kerubo spoke out about the encounter describing it as one of the most traumatising in her life.

The mother of three told the Nation that she had only worked at the Village Market, a shopping mall in Nairobi, for a month.

During that time, she said, she occasionally met difficult clients who refused to be screened but had never encountered one armed with a gun.

Most businesses have stepped up security measures because of the threat posed by Al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist rebels who are under attack by the Kenya Defence Forces.

On Wednesday, the Village Market said in a statement that it regrets the negative publicity around the deputy CJ’s incident, but insisted that its security measures apply to all persons visiting the shopping mall without exception.

‘‘.... the measures include the use of metal detectors and search of all motor vehicles and persons entering the premises to ensure their safety,’’ a statement signed by the management said.

Ms Baraza described the incident as unfortunate and asked Kenyans to allow police to do their investigations.

She said that she had been apprehensive about her security in the recent past after a number of incidents in and out of her office.

She did not elaborate on the incidents in a statement sent to newsrooms, but said she had asked for extra bodyguards.

Ms Baraza is normally guarded by three police officers, two women and a man.

But on Saturday when the incident happened, only two were on duty as one was said to be unwell.

Ms Kerubo said the deputy CJ was dropped at the Village Market at around 6pm in a blue Toyota Prado with GK registration numbers.

She was carrying a small black purse and walked past the security guards towards a pharmacy without being screened.

“I followed her to the pharmacy’s counter, oblivious of the danger I was exposing myself to,” said Ms Kerubo.

She said that Ms Baraza told her that she was a senior government official before dismissing her, saying that she ought to know senior people.
But the guard said that she stood firm and insisted that she had to check Ms Baraza’s purse.

“As we were arguing, her male bodyguard came nearer. She ordered him to shoot me, but he declined,” said Ms Kerubo.

The deputy CJ then allegedly left for the parking lot, only to return with a pistol, the guard told police when she reported the incident at Gigiri.

The KK security guards manning the parking area said they did not see Ms Baraza go back to her vehicle.

From the time she entered the pharmacy, the only time she was seen leaving was when she was being escorted back to the car by her male bodyguard.

Gigiri OCPD Patrick Mwakio said CCTV footage viewed did not capture the gun.

Ms Baraza on Wednesday said she certainly had no intention of high-handedness, arrogance or ill-will.

“At this point, it would be inappropriate and prejudicial to make further comment on a matter which is under active police investigation,” she said in a statement sent to newsrooms.

She urged the public to allow police to investigate the matter without interference.

Ms Baraza said she had requested for increased security following a number of security incidents in and outside her office.