'INTOXICATED'

Taveta cop accused of murdering reveller suspended

Police corporal indiscriminately opened fire at Rockland Club killing Juma Mwanguka

In Summary

• On Wednesday, Gitahi was arraigned at Voi High Court on murder charge.

• Mbogo said Mwanguka was shot four times at very close range.

 

Police corporal David Gitahi concealing his face after he was arraigned on Wednesday
'Killer Cop' Police corporal David Gitahi concealing his face after he was arraigned on Wednesday
Image: Ernest Cornel

An intoxicated Taveta police officer who allegedly killed a reveller has been suspended.

Taveta police boss Lawrence Maroa on Thursday said police action – a localised military action against persons violating peace and order – has been taken against David Gitahi, 56.

“Every government property that was in his possession has been reclaimed,” Moroa said on the phone.

The police corporal indiscriminately opened fire at Rockland Club on March 29 at 11.35pm, killing Juma Mwanguka, 36. He was shot at close range. He died of gunshot wounds to the chest, leading to massive bleeding.

The officer was dangerously intoxicated on the day, witnesses said.

The death was recorded under OB number 65/29/03/2019.

On Wednesday, Gitahi was arraigned at the Voi High Court on a murder charge.

 Judge Farah Amin ordered Gitahi to undergo a psychiatric test at Mombasa County Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital before taking a plea.

Last week on Wednesday, Mwanguka's family, the Muslims for Human Rights and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority witnessed the postmortem.

Moi County Referral Hospital Voi pathologist Christopher Mbogo said Mwanguka died of several gunshot wounds that severed the heart and led to massive internal bleeding.

 

Mbogo said Mwanguka was shot four times at very close range.

On Thursday, Muhuri Taveta field officer Kelly Aduo said Gitahi's belongings were removed from his Bahati home last Friday.

“They were carted away in a police Land Cruiser,” Aduo said. Gitahi had no family member and lived alone,  Aduo said.

 Muhuri chairman Khelef Khalifa said Gitahi had shown the tendency to use his firearm against civilians.

“In several instances, it was reported to police but as usual, it was ignored. This is a wake-up call for a thorough assessment of all police officers who carry weapons to protect the public,” Khalifa said.

Gitahi, whose service number is 55197, is being locked up at the Matuga police station in Kwale.

The case's next hearing has been set for May 8.

Subbed by A. Ndung'u