KWS rangers accused of murdering herder arraigned

One accused of shooting trespasser , other five helped dump body in Galana River, Tsavo East PARK

In Summary

• Only one ranger accused of shooting man dead. Others likely to be charged as accessories

• Trespasser her drove his livestock to graze in the park

Six KWS rangers accused of murdering a herder at Tsavo East National Park, at Malindi law courts on March 20
TRESPASSER KILLED: Six KWS rangers accused of murdering a herder at Tsavo East National Park, at Malindi law courts on March 20

Six KWS rangers accused of shooting dead a herder in Tsavo East National Park and feeding him to crocodiles have been arraigned in court.

They were not all charged, however, after the prosecution recommended that only one man be charged with murder. It said the rest should be charged as accessories for helping dispose of the body in the crocodile-infested Galana River.

They are accused of killing Lami Bocha on December 24, 2018, at the Huri area of the park where the victim drove his livestock to graze.

DPP counsel Alice Mathangani said the five should be transferred to the Garsen law courts to face charges of accessory to a crime.

The Kenya Wildlife Service rangers in Tsavo East are Joseph Njoroge, the accused shooter; William Lopolian, Duncan Irungu, Santos Opiyo, Diba Gonso Banchale and  Mohamed Dube.

Mathangani said they recommend murder charges against Njoroge at the High Court in Malindi.

The victim's family is represented by lawyer Judy Thuku.

The suspects, who are represented by three lawyers, objected saying the lower court had no jurisdiction to transfer a case. Defence lawyer James Mouko said only the High Court could give direction.

“We are aware ...   the intention of the police is to take the suspects to Garsen, one is to be charged with murder,"  he said.

He said matters of law arose since police want to treat the suspects separately. Mouko opposed transfer to Garsen because it's where the deceased lived and it could be dangerous for them.

Other defence lawyers argued the political atmosphere in Garsen was unsafe.

The magistrate dismissed the application by the DPP and directed the matter be heard before the High Court in Malindi

The mention was set for April 2. All the suspects are to be remanded at the Malindi police station.


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