Investigations into the fatal shooting of Kabete MP George Muchai and his three aides were on Sunday focused on two areas after CCTV footage showed that the masked gunman who killed them drove away in a white Mercedes Benz with Ugandan registration plates, contrary to earlier reports that the getaway car was a Toyota Probox.
The vehicle, as seen in the footage, sped down Kenyatta Avenue towards Moi Avenue shortly after the shooting which occurred at 3am on Saturday.
However, the actual shooting and the direction the gunmen took to leave the city centre were not clearly captured although the owners of a building near the Globe Cinema roundabout gave police footage believed to show the car driving out of town.
Police have asked other building owners and managers to provide them with CCTV footage that could help them arrest those behind the crime.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero on Sunday said he handed over footage captured by cameras installed by the county government last year.
A group of detectives from the homicide department at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) were dispatched to Kampala yesterday after failing to find the details of the original and current owners of the car in their Nairobi registries.
FLYING SQUAD IN HURUMA
Another group of officers from the Flying Squad had from Saturday night conducted covert operations in the Asmara area of Huruma, where a car resembling the Benz had been seen.
Kenya Police spokesperson Zipporah Mboroki said police were pursuing several angles that could provide a motive for the killings, including Mr Muchai’s earlier complaint against the DCI, land issues, politics and previous attempts on his life.
Documents seen by the Nation team indicate that Mr Muchai had three months ago accused the DCI of being “most unprofessional and unprincipled”.
He had written to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) over the manner in which detectives from the department were investigating the alleged fraudulent sale of Cotu land in Mombasa.
The letter dated October 3 last year was copied to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
In the letter, Mr Muchai claimed that the DCI had deliberately distorted records regarding the sale of 0.0785 acres of land.
“I find it unbelievable and unimaginable that a reputable and supposedly trustworthy investigative arm in the Police Service can actually conduct its work in a manner to suggest clearly that somebody has compromised it and has managed to swap records to suit a given direction in this matter.
This is most unprofessional and unprincipled, to say the least,” he wrote.
Police are also trying to establish if the death could be linked to the October 3, 2011 shooting that Mr Muchai at the time described as an attempted execution.
He was involved in a shootout with gunmen at Donholm Phase 8. In that attack, he shot dead one person while the other sustained a gunshot wound.
He was shot on the thigh but drove himself to the Nairobi Hospital. He had visited a friend in Donholm when he was attacked by three armed men who appeared to know him.
The attackers were also known to Mr Muchai’s host, according to police. When they opened fire, he, too, shot at them, killing one on the spot as he sped away from the scene. The attackers put their colleague who had been shot in their car and sped away. The body was later dumped. The case is still being investigated.
Detectives are also analysing the phone records of all the victims who were shot alongside Mr Muchai to establish if their last communication could give clues to the investigators.
The identity and the motive of the attackers still remain unclear.
KNEW OFFICERS WELL
Police said the gang stole two firearms, both Ceska pistols loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition each. The guns belonged to Mr Muchai’s two bodyguards. Police suspect the attackers knew the two officers well because after the shooting, one of them went for their pistols. However, the pistol belonging to Mr Muchai was found still tucked in his waist.
Police have so far recorded statements from about 10 witnesses, including family members who were in another car at the time of the shooting.
Also questioned were workers at the Galileo Lounge, where the MP and his family had come from, and a newspaper vendor who was at the scene.
Mr Muchai has also had serious differences with Cotu leaders after he alleged that Sh120 million had been misappropriated. He accused Mr Francis Atwoli of embezzling funds and holding 14 secret accounts in Cotu’s name.
Mr Muchai moved to the industrial court and also sought orders for the removal of Mr Atwoli and five other executive board members. He also wanted Cotu’s bank accounts frozen until the case was heard and determined.
On October 5, last year, he was voted out as Cotu’s deputy secretary-general on claims that he had breached the provisions of the Cotu constitution, and was replaced by Mr Benson Okwara.
On Saturday, Mr Atwoli called for thorough investigations into the shooting to ensure justice was served. He also called for a stop on speculation into the shooting. He described Mr Muchai as a friend and a colleague.