Nairobi pastor admits to killing pedestrian in road crash
A second flamboyant preacher driving a Range Rover was involved in a fatal accident but police terminated the case.
Bishop Thomas Wahome Njuguna of Helicopter Ministries, driving vehicle registration number KBX 377D, knocked down Godfrey Mwaniki at about 6pm on June 24.
Mr Mwaniki died on the spot in an accident that took place at the top of a small hill near Kihuri Village, Othaya, Nyeri County.
Pastor James Ng’ang’a of Neno Evangelism Centre, has been in the news over an accident in which Ms Mercy Njeri died in June.
Witnesses said Pastor Ng’ang’a was driving at the time of the accident but police, in an elaborate cover-up, appear to have charged a different person.
More than 1,700people, many of them pedestrians, have been killed on the road so far this year. Drivers are rarely punished in these cases.
For those who can afford to bribe the police, impunity has become almost institutionalised.
In the Bishop Wahome case, police investigated and took statements from witnesses, but dropped the case, apparently at the request of Mr Mwaniki’s family.
The family met Bishop Wahome on June 29, subsequent to which the decision not to pursue the case appears to have been taken.
The Bishop’s defence, supported by the passengers in his car, was that Mr Mwaniki unexpectedly and without exercising due care, walked onto the road.
According to law enforcement officials familiar with the evidence, the bishop also said he was not driving fast.
Mr Mwaniki had also been to a bar and had a drink. The position of the police appears to have been that he was drunk and staggered onto the road.
The evidence of witnesses who were with Mr Mwaniki was that he was not drunk at all, that he had only taken half a bottle of Allsops beer. They also claimed that the Range Rover was being driven fast.
While there is no suggestion that Bishop Wahome was at fault, law enforcement officials are concerned that the police allowed the matter to end quietly without a formal acquittal by a judge or magistrate.
The police decided that the pedestrian was at fault and recommended an inquest be held into his death, but the decision to refer a death to an inquest is usually taken by the court or the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, not the investigator.
Besides, where a person has been killed, the complainant is not the family but the State and it is up to the DPP to decide whether the person who caused the death is to be charged and what offence he or she would be accused of.
If found liable, the charge would have been causing death, as per the Traffic Act, which upon conviction would result in a prison term of a maximum 10 years.
The judge or magistrate also has powers to cancel the driver’s licence and to declare the offender disqualified from having a licence for three years.
Last evening, Bishop Wahome said that he was not at fault in the matter and it was true he made an arrangement with the family.
Read the full story here.
SOURCE: Daily Nation