Kitui County official charged with arson - Daily Nation

Senior Kitui County official charged with arson

Saturday August 25 2018

Kitui County offices

Ruins of a three storey building which housed several Kitui County government offices. PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KITAVI MUTUA
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A senior Kitui County government official was on Friday arraigned in court for allegedly burning down a three storey building, leading to destruction of records and equipment worth millions of shillings.

Mr Dominic Muumbu, who was the county director of environment, a department housed in the torched office complex, appeared before Mwingi Senior Principal Magistrate Kibet Sambu alongside two county security guards.

Mr Muumbu and his co-accused Mr Munyao Mwendwa and Mr Muli Mutia faced three counts of arson, conspiracy to torch the county government offices and failure to prevent a felony.

The first charge states that on February 25, this year at around 2am within Kitui township, they jointly set on fire to the Kitui County Environment office valued at Sh150 million.  

COMMIT FELONY

In the second count, they are charged with conspiring to commit a felony by setting on fire the Tourist House which housed county environment offices. 

The third charge states that on the same day, while on duty as night security guards, they jointly failed to use reasonable means to prevent the commission of a felony.  

The three denied the charges and were released with a Sh5 million bond with a surety of a similar amount.

During the arson attack, eight departments housed in the building had their furniture, computers and cabinets reduced to ashes.  

SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

Detectives said that the fire broke out from Mr Muumbu's office on the second floor.

Acting County Director of Criminal Investigation Simon Mwongera said that they had gathered sufficient evidence linking the county officer to the arson attack and ruled out electric fault as the cause of the fire.

“We believe the suspect masterminded the arson to destroy documents that were linking him to misuse of county funds among other offences,” Mr Mwongera told Nation on Friday.

The fire incident occurred when Mr Muumbu was suspended over allegations of misappropriation of public funds and issuing permits to charcoal dealers and transporters despite a ban by Governor Charity Ngilu.

The case will be heard on August 28.