Analysis shows pardoned convicts committed heinous crimes

The 37 set free included Davy Koech who had been convicted of corruption

In Summary
  • Majority were convicts of robbery with violence, murders and rape among other crimes that attract death or longer sentences.
  • Alongside the pardons, the President also remitted the unexpired portions of sentences of some 2,944 petty or minor offenders who were committed to six months of jail time or below.
Court gavel
Court gavel
Image: FILE

An analysis of some of the 37 prison inmates whose pleas for pardon got accepted by President William Ruto on Tuesday were convicted of some of the savage crimes that saw them spend long time in jail.

The Star’s review show that most of the convicts were either in active death row or had the capital sentences converted to long sentences before the pleas got good graces from the head of state.

Alongside the pardons, the President also remitted the unexpired portions of sentences of some 2,944 petty or minor offenders who were committed to six months of jail time or below.

Also, Ruto pardoned some 2,117 prisoners who were long term offenders who had less than six months to serve in jail, bequeathing them freedom.

Ann Ngonyo, part of the 37 capital offenders, was convicted of being part of the gang that clobbered then Nairobi businessman and land dealer Lawrence Githinji Mangóndu in February 2000.

They also beat up Mangóndu’s driver to a pulp, leaving him to vultures believing that they had killed him.

On the day of his killing, the trader got a call that there was land in Kitengela for sale. He had his driver dash him there not knowing that he was leading himself to danger.

In Kitengela, he waited before a white Toyota Corolla pulled behind his car where he had parked and the man who had called him, Wilson Mwangi Thiribu, emerged alongside his sister Ann Ngonyo and some other men, about three.

They carried two sharp pangas and a roll of barbed wire, explaining that they were ready to close the deal and fence off the land immediately.

As they surveyed the land, Thiribu and his team gave Sh1,000 to Mangóndu’s driver to go look for a restaurant and arrange for their lunch.

Once gone, the team pounced on Mangóndu, cutting him with the pangas and making it worse with the sharp barbed wires until he died.

They later found his driver and did the unthinkable.

Ngonyo would be part of a team of seven that got convicted of the murder. She escaped the death sentence by a whisker after then trial magistrate found her to be six months pregnant after being in remand for two years.

For Burfa Jara Dokota, Ismael Kalamasho Kabiru and Mohammed Alango Durbu, their offence was also murder. They were with one more person named Abdi Godana Jara who died in jail in 2018.

They got death sentence in 2010 but applied for resentencing after the famous Muruatetu decision of the Supreme Court and got a 10 year sentence in 2019.

Simon Ndung'u Ngugi, criminal case 52 of 2013, he together with a co-accused were charged with defiling a six-year-old girl identified as EWM, alternative to the charge of defilement they were charged with committing indecent act.

The court gave them 40 years. Evidence against them showed that Ngugi forcefully penetrated the little girl while his co-accused tightly held her, blocking her mouth. But medical report later showed that he never achieved penetration because her hymen remained intact, hence was punished for attempted defilement.

For Ann Wangari Mungai, in Criminal Case No. 73 of 2001, she got convicted and earned death sentence on July 26, 2004, for killing her step son. Her death sentence got commuted in 2010 and her later appeal saw her get 40 years in October 2020.

James Githui Wathiaka got convicted of committing two murders in 2005 in Nyeri alongside seven others.

They killed Mercy Ngima and Joseph Kagori on the same date. Waithaka had his daughter in law locked in the house while they killed the two victims.

For Mary Wanjiku Nduta, she was part of a gang of four that robbed a man of Sh720,000 and a probox car before killing him in Kangundo in 2012, and got sent to the hang upon conviction. Her appeals failed in 2014.

But the case of Jane Chesigei Sang is baffling because court records show that she had been freed in 2016 on account that she committed her crime when she was not sane.

Records show that she killed her son in May 2007, when she suffered a bout of Cerebral malaria that had affected her mental sanity. But the trail court convicted her despite the medical records bearing her condition but Court of Appeal ordered her release in 2016.

It is not clear why she had remained in jail warranting the pardon by the President. 

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