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Governor tells court majority leader ordered shooting that left six hurt

Thursday February 2 2017

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana assumes the witness stand at a Makueni court on February 2, 2017 to testify in a case in which four policemen are accused of shooting and injuring six people three years ago. PHOTO | PIUS MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana assumes the witness stand at a Makueni court on February 2, 2017 to testify in a case in which four policemen are accused of shooting and injuring six people three years ago. PHOTO | PIUS MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PIUS MAUNDU
By PIUS MAUNDU
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The trial of four bodyguards of Makueni County politicians accused of shooting and injuring six people in a September 2014 confrontation at the assembly premises resumed on Thursday.

Governor Kivutha Kibwana told the court that Assembly Majority Leader Francis Mutuku ordered the shooting.

Appearing before the Senior Resident Magistrate at Makueni law courts Carilus Nyawir, Prof Kibwana said that he saw two of the accused — Muthoka Ndunda and Francis Daido, the guards of Speaker Stephen Ngelu and Mr Mutuku respectively — open fire on his entourage at the Assembly’s gate.

They swung into action, he said, after Mr Mutuku shouted: "'Kala kamundu nikaaye; kaathe'" (Here he comes; shoot him).

He said that Mr Mutuku, elected on a Wiper ticket was working with working with Mr Ngelu to deny him entry into the assembly.

IMPEACHMENT MEETING

Further, Prof Kibwana said that local politicians were opposed to his joining the meeting because it was meant to deliberate on his impeachment.

"Immediately the Majority Leader made the order, I saw Muthoka and Daido aim their pistols our direction and shortly afterwards, an Assembly orderly who was negotiating for the gate to be opened for me lay prostrate on the ground having been shot at," recalled Prof Kibwana.

Subsequent shots hit at Prof Kibwana's bodyguard William Kinoti, his aide Douglas Mbilu, a pastor Mr Festus Nyamai, Francis Musyoki, a retired politician and Yakub Bule, a policeman who were close to Prof Kibwana, the court heard.

Makueni County Referral Hospital Superintendent Emmanuel Laiposha, who also testified at the court, said the six sustained gunshot wounds.

Others suspects in the September 23 2014 shootout and who were present at the court are Mr Shadrack Kioko and Nicholas Musyoka, the aides to Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior and Kaiti MP Katemi Makenga respectively.

Prof Kibwana exonerated the bodyguards of the senator and that of Kaiti MP saying that he did not see them shoot at his entourage but wondered why the bodyguard to Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba was not among the accused.

On the day of the shooting, area MPs Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi East), Mr Makenga (Kaiti), Dr Musimba (Kibwezi West), Mr Kisoi Munyao (Mbooni) and Daniel Maanzo (Makueni), the Woman Representative Rose Museo and Mr Kilonzo Jnr had convened for a leaders' meeting at the Assembly with the ward representatives that had been hatched at a meeting at a Mombasa hotel and that was promoted in newspaper and vernacular radio advertisements.

He told the jammed court that the meeting at the Assembly was meant to deliberate on his impeachment.

MAIN TARGET

He said that the impeachment drive had been engineered by Mr Kilonzo Junior and Dr Musimba.

"At a meeting convened at Makindu Town days before the shooting, the senator and Kibwezi West MP said that I should be impeached as I had failed to help the people get good compensation for their land that was to be taken up by the Standard Gauge Railway project," he said.

He added: "Afterwards, the two took all area MPs and MCAs to Mombasa where we learned that they discussed on how I would be impeached."

During the cross-examination by Mr Morris Mulei, the lawyer for Mr Ndunda and Mr Daido, Prof Kibwana reiterated that he was the main target of the shooting.

As gunfire rendered the air from vantage points inside the Assembly, he said, a policeman and a civilian quickly whisked him away from the line of fire.

Asked why he had picked on the duo as the prime suspects in the shooting drama and not the rest of the aides to the area leaders, Prof Kibwana said he personally knew the bodyguards and had clearly spotted them shooting near the gate where a cordon had been thrown to control access to the Assembly.

He acknowledged that around the time of the shooting, the relation between the Executive and the Assembly was frosty.

The judge set the hearing date to May 29 this year when more witnesses are lined to testify in the case.