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Trio on the spot for destroying government property

Three men accused of vandalising Sh9.3 million worth of drainage covers in Eastleigh, a Nairobi suburb, are battling charges of sabotage and endangering the lives of members of the public.

They are accused of engaging in the act of selling the products as scrap metal.

The suspects are Josphat Mutinda Mutua, Samson Gatimu, and Robert Kinyua who were arraigned at the Makadara Law Courts for sabotage contrary to section 343 of the Penal Code.

The trio is accused of willfully and unlawfully destroying the metallic covers used by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) to cover the drainage system along General Waruinge Street.

The suspects were arrested by Nairobi County government enforcement officers who allegedly found them removing the metallic covers on the night of January 16, 2024.

They are accused of damaging the covers on diverse dates between November 1, 2023, and January 16, 2024, which they removed, intending to endanger or knowing their actions endangered the lives of members of the community.

Mutua, Gatimu, and Kinyua are also facing a charge of destruction of infrastructure contrary to section 24 (1) of the Scrap Metal Act of 2015 where they are accused of removing and destroying 930 reinforced concrete cover slabs worth Sh9.3 million.

The suspects intended to sell them as scrap metals from infrastructure designed for drainage.

The county government officials were on their routine patrol in the area when they came across a group of people vandalizing the drainage system to remove steel metals.

The enforcement officers managed to arrest three of them as the rest fled.

The officers recovered more than 200 cover slabs from the suspects. The three led the officers who had been joined by the police, to a kiosk where they had kept more of the items and they recovered a total of 300.

The county government officers were on night patrol to look for people who had been vandalizing the drainage covers putting pedestrians and motorists alike in danger.

The suspects denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku of the Makadara Law Courts. They were released on a bond of Sh1 million and an alternative cash bail of Sh500,000.

The case will be mentioned on March 20 before the hearing starts on June 17, 2024.

Two of the county government officers and an engineer are listed as the main prosecution witnesses in the case alongside the police.

The mastermind of the vandalism who was reportedly buying the KURA property is on the run but has been identified.

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