Killing by cops prompts protests in Mlango Kubwa

Residents say slain man wasn't a thief, but police say he had snatched a motorist's phone

In Summary
  • Residents lit bonfires and barricaded a road to protest against the killing 
  • Police said a witness had recorded a statement with them about the incident 
Crime scene.
CRIME SCENE: Crime scene.

A suspected thief was on Tuesday evening shot dead in the Mlango Kubwa area, Nairobi, prompting a protest by residents against the killing by police.

Residents said the man was not a thief, but police said they recovered from him a mobile phone stolen from a motorist in a traffic jam on Juja Road.

Angry residents burnt tyres and barricaded busy Juja Road to protest the death of 29-year-old James Nungu Nziva. 

Nziva died after being hit by a stray bullet allegedly fired by an officer who was pursuing the man who had stolen a mobile phone.

Starehe police boss Julius Kiragu said they were investigating the shooting but linked the suspect to the crime.

"The taxi driver whose client's phone was stolen has been questioned and confirmed his involvement," Kiragu said.

The Independent Policing and Oversight Authority is investigating the killing, which, yet again, has put the National Police Service on the spot over reckless shootings.

Cases of armed robberies have been on the rise in the area and police have heightened operations.

Meanwhile, many people lost their valuables in a fire in Mkuru slums.

A small supermarket was also involved. Police said the cause of the fire had not been established but they suspected an illegal connection.

No injury was reported. Fires have been increasing and residents are demanding more proactive responses.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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