•The two elderly men had been made trustees at Kamiti Prison during their incarceration
•They had unsuccessfully appealed the sentence in 2002
Two old men on death row have been released after 27 years in incarceration.
Bernard Wambua Mbenzi, 68, and Paul Kituku Mutisya, 76, were on Wednesday resentenced by High Court judge George Odunga sitting in Machakos.
They had been incarcerated for 27 years and seven months for killing Charles Kiio Mulei on January 14, 1992.
They had unsuccessfully appealed the sentence in 2002.
The two were made trustees at Kamiti Prison during their imprisonment.
“From the probation report, it is clear that both the accused have substantially reformed to the extent that they have been made trustees while in prison. The incarceration has achieved three objectives of retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation,” Judge Odunga ruled.
They killed Mitamboni businessman Mulei at Kavete Village for resisting a robbery.
Mutisya admitted that he participated in the crime, but said the intention was to rob not to kill the trader.
Mbenzi denied participating in the offence. He had told the police that he had been invited by colleagues Mutisya and Musyoki Kioko (not in court) to Mitamboni where they were to ask for money.
After failing to get the money, they conspired to rob the deceased, who however resisted.
Mbenzi said he heard the deceased scream twice and before his colleagues (one was not in court) came out and gave him Sh2,000. They then escaped.
According to him, the killer was Kioko.
“Whereas there was no evidence that the accused set out to kill the deceased, the fact that they had set out to commit a felony, that is to rob the deceased, was sufficient for the purposes of murder and it does not matter who among them murdered the deceased,” Justice Odunga ruled.
A probation report indicated that Mbenzi does not have any dependants. His wife returned to her maternal home and all his children are adults.
The report said the children and brothers are willing to resettle and reintegrate him in his Msambweni home.
Mutisya regretted killing Mulei and blamed lust for quick money and peer influence for his action.
His mother and siblings have been visiting him in prison and have accepted to receive and resettle him.