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Family of KU student killed in fatal crash protests charges against warder

The family of a university student involved in an accident on Mombasa Road in Nairobi last Sunday has decried the charges pressed against a senior prison warder, saying the most serious offenses were left out.

Maureen Wangui Gachagua’s family camped at the Industrial Area Police Station the whole day Tuesday, demanding that the officer, Dismus Gitenge Motongwa, be charged with obstruction of justice — by concealing evidence — and murder.

Sergeant Motongwa was arrested on Sunday after he went to the Langata and Industrial Area police stations to report that he had hit a cow on Mombasa Road.


This was after he dumped Maureen’s body three kilometres from the crash scene.

“What the sergeant is doing is an insult to the family because he maintains he did not hit Maureen. We would have treated this incident as an unfortunate accident had he not dumped the body and recorded a statement saying that he hit a cow,” Maureen’s elder sister, Ruth Njoki, told the Daily Nation.

Ms Njoki said the family feels the charges pressed against Sergeant Motongwa were not sufficient.

The officer was on Tuesday arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts and charged with three counts: driving under the influence of alcohol, causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident.

He pleaded not guilty to the first two charges and guilty to the third, thus being fined Sh10,000.

For the charges he pleaded not guilty to, the officer was granted a Sh1 million cash bail and Sh500,000 bond.

He is remanded at the Industrial Area Prison.


Meanwhile, the National Police Service have acquired the footage of the accident, with spokesperson Charles Owino saying this will help investigators with facts about the crash.

“We want to know exactly what happened so that we can ensure that the family gets justice and nothing is left to speculation,” Mr Owino said.

On Tuesday, the Prisons Department announced that it had immediately interdicted Mr Motongwa.

“Since he has been charged, an immediate interdiction is necessary at this point. The department will continue to monitor the progress of the case,” Mr David Kingoo, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, said.

A postmortem conducted by Dr PM Ndegwa at the City Mortuary showed the deceased had multiple organ injuries and blunt force trauma resulting from the car accident.