10 GSU officers face murder charges
Ten General Service Unit (GSU) officers including their commander are set to be arrested and arraigned for the fatal shootings of four demonstrators at Masimba, Kajiando County on June 2, 2022.
This follows an investigation by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).
Four people died while six others sustained serious injuries when the officers attached to the GSU’s M company opened fire at demonstrators on the Nairobi – Mombasa Highway.
Those who died during the incident were Mr. Duncan Kanari, Mr. Letemir Topoika Yionti, Mr. Denis Matheka Mutua and Mr. Stanley Ntidu Tereu.
Mr. Dickson Muema, Mr. Peter Saita, Mr. Kuoere Mukare, Mr. John Kaetuai, Mr. Sila Mwangu and Mr. Tom Kanake survived with bullet wounds.
The victims were part of demonstrators who had thronged the busy highway to protest invasion of their farms by elephants during which a teacher died after he was trampled on by the marauding jumbos.
IPOA took up the matter on its own motion after the incident was widely reported in the media.
Section 6 of IPOA Act allows the Authority to “investigate any complaints related to disciplinary or criminal offences committed by any member of the Service, whether on its own motion or on receipt of a complaint, and make recommendations to the relevant authorities, including recommendations for prosecution compensation, internal disciplinary action or any other appropriate relief.”
On November 4, 2022, nine (9) of the officers were held at Kibra police station, Nairobi, pending arraignment.
This follows a directive by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions after independently reviewing the IPOA investigation file.
“The totality of evidence on record suggests that the GSU officers were culpable for the offence of murder contrary to section 203 as read with 204 of the penal code. Additionally, the officers are culpable for causing grievous harm contrary to section 234 of the penal code,” the ODPP noted.
The letter to the Authority added: “We concur with the Authority that the use of force by the GSU officers against the demonstrators was not only unlawful but was also unjustified. Therefore, we direct that the officers be charged accordingly.”
The officers are Police Constables Kasim Nunow, Hoseah Chikara, Mohammed Adan, Wambua Kilonzo, Wesley Kipkorir, Boaz Mogire, John Mwangi and Desmond Musyoka.
Others are Inspector of Police Cornelio Nabwera and Corporal Zakayo Kipterio.
The investigation established that GSU officers attached to the M Company had escorted a cargo belonging to De La Rue Company from Mombasa to Nairobi on June 1.
On the fateful day, the officers were travelling back to their base in Mombasa when they encountered the demonstrators.
The investigation further revealed that the officers, who were travelling in two Landcruisers, fired a total of forty (40) rounds of ammunition, before making through barricades and drove off to Mombasa.
Seventeen (17) spent cartridges were collocated at the scene. Post-mortem examinations showed that each of the fatalities was caused by a single bullet wound; a bullet head and bullet fragments were retrieved from the bodies during the autopsy.