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Relatives demand full probe into night killings

Thursday March 11 2010


Relatives of seven taxi drivers allegedly shot dead by Administration Police officers in Nairobi's Dagoretti area on Wednesday night have called for thorough investigations into the matter.

The drivers were allegedly shot in cold blood by the APs in Kawangware following a false alarm. Harry Thuku, 39, a father of four was among those killed in the 1am incident.

Still in shock

His wife, Mercy Nyambura, was on Thursday still in shock. She said her husband, who owns three taxis, left home at 3.30pm on Wednesday afternoon for his base near Shell Petrol Station on the Old Naivasha Road.

She said that around midnight, she heard gunshots and called him, but his phone went unanswered. “I called three times, but got no answer. When I later tried again, the phone was switched off. When I heard the news in the morning that seven people had been killed at his workplace, I sent his younger brother who returned with the bad news,” the widow said.

Ms Sarah Wamaitha said her husband of 10 years, Mr Mugweru Mwangi, had just come back to the house for tea when a customer called. “He left a cup of tea on the table at 11pm and promised to come back,” Ms Wamaitha said at her house about a kilometre from the scene.

The mother of two said her husband also worked in Nairobi council’s environment department and would normally come back home at 1 am in order to get enough sleep before his day job at City Hall. However, by 1 am on Wednesday night, he had not returned, and when she called, there was no answer.

Too much work

“I did not suspect anything was wrong... I just thought he had too much work,” she added. Mr Wilson Mwangi, Mugweru’s father, who lives in the nearby Riruta Satellite Estate, said that he was alerted about the shooting at midnight.

He wondered why police would want to shoot his son. “It was not until they identified my son’s body that I believed the reports I had heard,” he said. He demanded that the police issue a full report on why they had killed the seven.

Ms Eunice Muthoni, whose 47-year-old husband, Joseph Ngugi, was also killed said she had spoken to him around 10pm before she received the news. Ms Muthoni, who is expectant, said she heard gunshots shortly after speaking to him and tried to call, but his phone went unanswered.

“I called until I ran out of airtime because I kept leaving voice messages for him to call back. When I called later, the phone had been switched off,” Ms Muthoni said.