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Kamto murder suspects' bond opposed over criminal record

Monday February 4 2019

Kamto murder suspects

Julius Gitonga M'muguu, Joseph Amwayi Mukabana and Florence Mwanza Mbithe, suspects in the murder of former Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto, at the Shanzu Law Courts on February 4, 2019. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WACHIRA MWANGI
By WACHIRA MWANGI
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BRIAN OCHARO
By BRIAN OCHARO
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Three suspects linked to the murder of former Kilifi Deputy Governor Kenneth Kamto had previously been jailed for life, a court heard on Monday.

However, the court was also told that Julius Gitonga M'muguu, Joseph Amwayi Mukabana and Florence Mwanza Mbithe, who had been convicted of robbery with violence, were acquitted following their appeal at the High Court.

While asking the court to deny the suspects bond, State counsel Shakwila Ayekha said they were perennial offenders who had been found guilty of crimes in the past.

“This shows they are not good citizens and that the public will not be safe if they are released,” he told Shanzu Senior Resident Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda.

OTHER CRIME

Mr Shakwila also noted that the three were linked to another incident in Ganze, for which investigations had not been completed.

“It was a shooting. The ballistics report shows that the same gun was recovered from the three. The suspects are violent robbers and if released on bond, there is a very high possibility that they can intimidate and try to eliminate witnesses,” he said.

“There is need to consider the rights of the accused persons and the safety of the public. Weighing the two, it is our opinion that it is safe to have the accused persons denied bond."

According to an affidavit by Sergeant Raphael Wanjohi, the ballistics report on the gun recovered from the suspects linked it to a bullet removed from the body of the businessman who was killed.

The investigating officer further said the gun used in the murder had been stolen from a Chinese national.

“The public are very angry so the suspects risk being killed if granted bail. That is why we want them remain in custody until the case is concluded,” the prosecutor said

The suspects dismissed the prosecution’s submissions and asked the court to grant them release, arguing they are innocent until proven guilty.

THE ACCUSATIONS

Mr Gitonga and Mr Amwayi are accused of shooting the businessman and stealing his three mobile phones valued at Sh28,000.

Ms Mwanza and Mr  Gitonga are further charged that on January 6 at Kwa Bolu in Kisauni, they took the phones belonging to Mr Kamto and Fawzia Dear Omar, knowing or having reason to believe that they had been stolen.

Mr Gitonga and Mr Amwayi are additionally accused of robbing Chinese national Adnan Chi Tung of goods worth Sh3 million at Nyali Plaza Estate two years ago.

They are also accused of robbing Ms Omar and Uchi Zuma Mkaha of mobile phones worth Sh10,000 and Sh2,000 from their houses along Nyalu Beach Road on December 12.

The three have been charged alongside Joseph Shoi Chege and Clementina Nerima Mundera, who were found with a mobile phone belonging to Mkaha, knowing or having reason to believe that they had been stolen.

Mr Gitonga and Ms Mwanza are also accused of being in possession of a Glock pistol loaded with 18 bullets at Kwa Bulo Estate on January 6, yet they did not have a valid firearm certificate.

The ruling on bond application will be made on Tuesday.