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Seventeen officers moved following shooting chaos

Wednesday March 19 2003

By NATION Correspondent

Seventeen police constables have been transferred from the Mtwapa Police Base in Mombasa in the wake of the shooting to death of three people by a policeman.

The police base had a total of 19 officers under the command of a chief inspector.

It was not immediately known where the boss, Mr Ephantus Njagi, had been transferred to.

The Kilifi police boss, Mr Willis Okello Onyango, said the officers were moved so as not to interfere with investigations into the murder.

"We want to ensure that the investigations are done in a free atmosphere without undue interference," he said.

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He said a senior police officer had been assigned to investigate the shooting in the patrol base which has shocked local residents.

The police constables have been posted to divisional police headquarters in the province.

The officers were sent to Malindi, Tana River, and Kwale districts.

The Nation found Mr Onyango personally supervising the transfers and ensuring the officers left the station with their belongings.

The police chief said the constable who committed the offence would appear in court once investigations were complete.

Highly placed sources said the suspect and one of the colleagues he shot were spotted drinking in a pub at Mtwapa on Sunday night, but the source could not say the motive of the killing.

Those shot dead were Constable Jacob Nderi, Ms Doreen Mwaniki, 24, an employee of Bamburi Beach Hotel and Ms Alice Gathenye.

The Mombasa Narc vice chairman, Mr Jamal Sheikh, whose brother Anwar Nassir survived the attack, asked the government to ensure justice was done.

Mr Nassir, who was shot in both knees and whose girlfriend was killed in the outrage, said the policeman opened fire randomly without provocation.