A chief in Othaya, Nyeri County has been charged with stealing two dogs belonging to a Nairobi-based televangelist, Bishop Thomas Wahome of the Helicopter Church.
Kiandemi Sub-Location Sub-Chief Paul Gachiri Wageni was Thursday charged with stealing the two Terrier dogs, valued at Sh300,000, in Kihuri village in December 2016.
He faced a second count of handling stolen property.
Othaya Senior Resident Magistrate Monica Munyendo heard that the administrator dishonestly received and retained one dog.
But Mr Wageni denied the charges and was released on a Sh200,000 bond with an alternative Sh100,000 cash bail.
The magistrate also ordered the prosecution to supply him with copies of witness statements ahead of the hearing was scheduled to start on June 4, 2019.
According to prosecution documents, the complainant bought the dogs, a male and female, in December 2014 in Arusha.
He later took them to his rural home in Othaya.
In his statement to the police, Bishop Wahome said the dogs were under the care of his farm manager, Mr Stephen Macharia Ndichu, who informed him that they had been stolen.
“I reported the matter to the area assistant chief, Mr Paul Gachiri, [so that he could] address the matter during barazas as I suspected they might have been taken by one of the neighbours. I returned to Nairobi waiting for feedback from the assistant chief,” he told the police in his statement.
But on November 3, 2018 the farm manager reported that he had sighted the missing dogs in the assistant chief’s homestead and the matter was reported to Othaya Police Station.
Together with the police, they proceeded to the sub-chief’s home where he positively identified the dogs.
Another prosecution witness, Mr Godfrey Mugo Njuguna, who is Bishop Wahome’s brother, told the police that he learned that the dogs were missing in December 2016 when he found the kennel broken into.
The farm manager later informed Mr Njuguna that one of the dogs had been sighted at the assistant chief’s homestead.
But during interrogation by investigating officer Willy Businei, the 55-year-old assistant chief said he bought the dogs from Mr Wahome’s mother, Ms Antonia Njambi, in March 2013.
His statement indicates that he bought the two dogs at Sh200 each.
“After about two weeks since I bought them, the male puppy died and I remained with the female,” the statement reads.
The said female dog has given birth twice, it adds.