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Four DCI officers charged with robbing American businessman

Four police officers attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have been charged with violently robbing a businessman based in the United States of America Sh280,000 at gun point.

The officers Antony Muvaka Mwanza, Cornelius Wambua, Tom Omondi Otieno and Kennedy Omondi Odero denied the capital offence.

They were arraigned before Milimani law courts chief magistrate Ms Wendy Kagendo, for violently robbing Vincent Ochieng Odembo at Nexgen Mall along Mombasa Road on February 6,2022.

Mwanza, Wambua, Otieno and Odero allegedly committed the offence jointly with others who have not been arraigned in court.

Ms Kagendo heard the DCI officers robbed Mr Odembo USD 2,400 (KSh240,000) and Sh40,000.

They allegedly used force during the execution of the offence against Mr Odembo, an American-Kenyan citizen.

A prosecuting counsel, Anderson Gikunda did not oppose the release of the suspects on bond.

Defense lawyers comprising Danstan Omari, Michelle Kimuma, Omuoyo Shadrack, Wamboi and Wycliffe Omayio, informed the court that the accused and the complainant were discussing to resolve the issue out of court settlement.

“The matter before court is just a misunderstanding between the complainant and the accused. We are discussing to settle it out of court,” Mr Omari told Ms Kagendo.

The officers who were arrested on February 11,2022, are accused of committing the offence on February 6,2022 while armed with dangerous weapons namely, two AK47 rifles and two Ceska Rifles.

Asking the court to free them on reasonable bond terms Mr Omari argued that the accused earn meagre salaries.

“Mwanza is a police constable earning a monthly salary of Sh18,000 and a huge bond term is like condemning him to remain in custody. Free him on a cash bail not exceeding Sh100,000,” Mr Omari urged.

Equally Mr Wambui prevailed upon the magistrate to free Wambua on personal cognizance saying, he is a civil servant with a very little income.

Mr Omayio told the court Otieno takes home Sh6,000 after deductions and “any excessive bail term means he will rot in custody as he cannot raise a huge amount.”

Ms Omuoyo urged the magistrate to show mercy to Odero whom she said “takes home a mere Sh1,600 after deductions.”

Ms Kagendo heard the police officers earn such little salary because of under payment by the National Police Service which has not remunerated the officers who are graduates.

“The officers are poorly remunerated and there is pending case at the High court over salaries,” Mr Omayio told the court.

He urged the court to exercise leniency while determining the accused bond terms.

In her ruling Ms Kagendo said the accused face a capital offence punishable by a death sentence upon conviction.

“The bond terms will be guided by the severity of the penalty which in this case is death upon conviction,” Ms Kagendo ruled.

She proceeded to release each of the four on a bond of Sh500,000 with one surety or an alternative cash bail of Sh300,000.

An attempt by lawyer Ochieng Ogutu watching brief for Mr Odembo to bar the media not publish their names hit a snag as he was informed by the court “it is a public trial and there is nothing to hide.”

Mr Omari asked the court to disregard such a request since there is no gag order against the media from the high court.