I regret my life in crime – reformed gangster Jefferson Muthee
“I really hate talking about the events that led to my arrest,” Mr Jefferson Muthee said as we started the interview, “However, for me, it is a miracle that I’m walking around after being set free by the same court that had ruled I be jailed for life. It is a miracle I say.”
Mr Muthee in an exclusive with Nairobi News said that his stint in prison was only comparable to ‘hell’, but he is happy all that is now in the past.
He was arrested in 2012, a young man barely out of his teens. The arrest actually saved his life.
But for the 16-year-old, even if he had been cornered by an angry mob in Machakos County after a crime spree, he knew that he had a Ceska pistol firearm to protect himself.
However, the long arm of the law caught up with him and he was arrested. The threat of death by mob justice was over, but now, he had to face the music because of his crimes.
Mr Muthee’s crime spree saw him accost members of the public, threatening them using the firearm which he had allegedly stolen from Mr Silas Kiptoo a police officer who was beaten up at the Muthaiga Drift located along the busy Thika Super Highway.
Reality started sinking in when he realised that he was heading to jail, for life. It is this reality that saw Mr Muthee on May 2013, strip naked in court demanding that his case be transferred to another court.
But all that was in vain as Magistrate Lucy Mbugua jailed him for a month for the offence.
While stripping he told the court that he was sure he might not get a fair trial and this all started when the last witness who was the investigating officer in the case entered the dock.
It is then that Mr Muthee stood up and removed his shirt as he shouted that the case is transferred to a different court.
At the time he was charged with ten counts which included robbery with violence and when the ruling was made he was hit with a guilty verdict and life imprisonment.
“Life there was tough, I had expected that since I was jailed as a minor at 16 years old, I would be put in the same prison with children but this never happened. Instead, I was thrown into the same jail with adults,” Mr Muthee said.
According to the reformed ex-convict who was released from prison on November 25, 2022, it was important for the youth to engage in activities that do not land them in trouble.
He showed remorse for his past mistakes saying at the time he had reached a point of no return in life and somehow he found himself engaging in crime.
Mr Muthee sat his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in 2010 and scored 386 marks, he was called to a top school in the Mount Kenya region but his parents could not afford school fees.
“That is how I ended up joining a day school within the city, I used to top my class from when I joined primary school up to class eight,” Mr Muthee who grew up in Mathare Slums told Nairobi News.
He narrated how secondary school life was tough for him and he was forced to work after school to raise his school fees.
Mr Muthee, born to a single mother, said that he had a number of siblings and he could see how his mother strained to ensure that they got an education.
“That is how I joined the scrap metal business, after school, I could collect metals and sell them so as to raise my school fees,” he said.
When he joined Form two, he had made a lady pregnant and this meant that he was to provide for the woman.
Months later, he could drop out of school and he resolved to work hard at the scrap metal business full-time in order to raise money for his family.
Asked to give a narration of how he ended up in jail, Mr Muthee completely refused to speak about the events that saw him and others attack a police officer and steal a gun from him.
“He might be watching me and feel like I am boasting about what I did, yet it is something that I regret to date. All I can ask is that he forgives me for all I did and he is assured that I am a changed man who is now focused on bettering his life,” he said.
Mr Muthee said that on the same day he was released from Kamiti Maximum Prison he went in search of his ex-wife who was pregnant – at the time he was been incarcerated. He found out that had given birth to a baby girl.
He said that he was happy to see his daughter and even vowed that he would work hard and ensure that his daughter gets the best education which he says he missed.
According to him, while he was in prison he was trained on how to be a football coach and also on how to offer counselling services.
However, he said that he only had a certificate of being a coach and he was willing to work with any football club in the country or abroad.
“What makes me a happy man despite all I went through in the last ten months is that my daughter also tops in class and I promise that I will give her the best,” he said.
Mr Muthee went on to narrate that he had also been transferred from Kamiti prison and locked up at Manyani and Naivasha Maximum prison.
Asked how he managed to file a petition of appeal, he said that a former primary school classmate, who is now a lawyer, helped him out.
“I was aggrieved that I had been convicted on the basis of evidence which according to what I felt was really insufficient. It is then that my friend assisted me to file the petition arguing that a single witness was not enough to get me jailed for a lifetime,” he said.
It is then that the court later dropped some of the charges in the case and he was jailed for 15 years.
Mr Muthee now asks the youth to shun crime and focus on things that can assist them to change their lives for the better and he insists on education is one of the ways of making things better.
Tomorrow: Part 2 in this series will give more details of how Mr Jefferson Muthee and others assaulted a police officer and made away with a firearm. He later went on a robbery spree in Machakos where he was arrested before an angry mob could lynch him.
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