Police holding Msando’s former city landlord over his murder
A 58-year-old accountant is one of two people being held by police on suspicion of involvement in the death of Mr Chris Msando, the ICT manager at the electoral commission.
Mr Msando was buried Saturday at his home in Lifunga K’Obiero, Siaya County.
This came as many questions remained unanswered over the murder of the election official in Nairobi three weeks ago.
The man, who works for a State corporation and was once Mr Msando’s landlord, was picked by Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives at his work place on Monday last week and presented at the Law Courts in Kiambu the following day.
He was taken to court alongside another individual, but they were not charged.
A source privy to the investigation said the two talked frequently even after Mr Msando stopped being his tenant after he bought his own house in Nyayo estate.
The source further said the man, who is being held at Muthaiga police station, was arrested after Mr Msando’s call records showed they spoke frequently.
When they were presented in court, the magistrate granted police 14 days to hold the two in custody while the investigations proceeded. However, a police officer privy to the investigation said there was no evidence linking the two to the murder and suggested they were likely to be set free.
Six people, including his former workmates at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, bar attendants who served him on the fateful night and a relative have had their statements recorded by police.
The Nation also learnt that detectives felt the trail might get cold unless they arrest four men, whom they believe hold the key to the murder puzzle.
Mr Msando’s body was found together with that of 21-year-old Maryanne Ngumbu in a forest in Kiambu County three weeks ago. Postmortem reports indicated that both were strangled by their attackers.
The official police version of Mr Msando’s movements before he was killed is at variance with what monitors at the Integrated Communication Command and Control Centre (IC3) based at Jogoo House told the media.
A statement released by Assistant Inspector-General of police, George Kinoti, on behalf of his boss Joseph Boinnet said Mr Msando left his office at Anniversary Towers and was spotted in the company of two people, a man and a woman at Club 7 along Koinange Street.
“A waiter at Club 7 confirmed that the deceased met Ms Maryanne Wairimu Ngumbu and another man at the club,” read part of the statement. “The waiter further said the man left earlier, leaving behind the two who later left the club at about 1am,” it added.
Mr Boinnet said Mr Msando’s car was captured by IC3 cameras at Uhuru Highway/Haile Selassie junction at 2.04am and was captured a minute later at Bunyala Road/Uhuru Highway roundabout heading towards Mombasa Road.
He said in both cases the vehicle had only two occupants, a male and a female, on the front seats. Mr Boinnet said at 2.34am, the vehicle was captured by security cameras along Mombasa Road at Nyayo Stadium heading towards city centre. At 2.47am the car was last captured by the cameras along Ring Road/Juja intersection while heading towards Thika.
Mr Kinoti also confirmed that Mr Msando had reported at the Central police station that some unknown people using three cell phone numbers sent him abusive and threatening messages linked to his work.
However, another version by sources who watched the CCTV footage said Mr Msando was with three other people in his car – two men who were seated at the back of the car and a woman clad in yellow attire who was in the co-driver’s seat.
The official police statement does not confirm or deny information by sources who watched the video footage that Mr Msando in fact drove up to Mlolongo that night or that he stopped at some point on Mombasa Road and got out of the car to make a phone call while the woman stood beside him.
Those who watched the CCTV footage said the woman, who is much heavier than Ms Ngumbu, was in Mr Msando’s car all through until he disappeared that night. The police statement, however, does not mention this.
The police have never released to the public the pictures or video footage of Mr Msando’s last moments as they did when investigating the murder of businessman Jacob Juma last year and Kabete MP George Muchai in 2015.
Earlier this month, police investigators tried to link Mr Msando’s death to an Opposition politician. This was after the arrest by Ugandan police of three Kenyans in connection with the murder of businessman Maurice Macharia whom the Ugandan officers mistakenly believed to be Mr Msando.
ON THE SPOT
On Thursday, during Mr Msando’s requiem mass at Consolata Shrine in Nairobi, Mr Tom Owiny, who is the Nairobi chairman of the funeral committee, put IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba on the spot by asking them why they did not enhance Mr Msando’s security even after he disclosed to them that his life was under threat.
“Chris had complained of threats to his life. What did you do as a commission to protect him? Between a man on whose shoulders the technology to be used in the elections rested and you the commissioners, who needed security the most?” Mr Owiny asked.