New Developments in the Blogger Sniper’s Murder Investigation

Kindiki

Kithure Kindiki, the Interior Cabinet Secretary, has disclosed that he possesses strong evidence against five individuals implicated in the savage killing of Daniel Muthiani, a prominent political blogger from Meru known as ‘Sniper’, including individuals with close ties to Governor Kawira Mwangaza of Meru.

Appearing before the Senate on Wednesday morning, the CS said investigations by the DCI homicide unit have established an intricate web into the murder of Sniper which was masterminded by Kawira’s aide.

“Investigations have so far established that on December 2023 the deceased, ‘Sniper’, was at his home when he received a call from Vincent Mureithi ‘Supuu’ who requested to meet with him at Meru town to attend an alleged meeting with the Meru Governor to discuss their differences, so that the deceased would stop attacking her on social media. Upon arrival, he was abducted and driven to Mutonga river in Chiakariga, Tharaka-Nithi County. He was killed and his body thrown into river Mutonga.” Kindiki said.

The CS was responding to a question from Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi on the status of investigations into the case, who raised concerns about delays in concluding the investigation.

Mr Murungi also questioned why the homicide unit had not investigated the sponsors or people who paid the five suspects currently in custody, and asked why there had been no link to other people at any point in the investigation.

“Why has the investigating body never touched on the sponsors of this murder? Sniper is still in the mortuary and the whole community has agreed that he will never be buried until justice is dispensed,” the Senate deputy speaker posed.

“If at all we can get that link of the sponsors of the murder because the CS’s statement was very clear on who Sniper was accused of attacking. We request for speedy investigations,” he added.

Murder files

However, CS Kindiki said that the investigation was not complete and the murder files were still open, as files are never closed and there is no statute of limitations for murder offences.

“Therefore, I want to assure the House that all persons who may have participated in the murder in any way, directly or indirectly, in the heinous and cruel murder of the deceased will be held accountable,” he said.

Nominated Senator Tabitha Mutinda also took the CS to task, claiming that all the key evidence of the murder pointed to a motive to stop criticism of Governor Kawira.

“Key evidence for any murder is the body, weapon and the motive. In this case, you have the body and motive which was criticising the governor. We have Ken who is the brother of the governor, and Supuu who is a personal assistant to the governor’s husband and the crime scene,” said Ms Mutinda.

“With all those common denominators focusing on one person, who is the governor of Meru, do you see any connection or financing by the governor because you said the basis for the call was to see how Sniper would stop criticising the governor?” she posed.

However, CS Kindiki said that the basic principle of criminal law presupposes individual criminal responsibility and therefore one is linked to a crime as an individual and not through family relations.

Not important

“Therefore, for us, it is not important who is related to whom. What is important to the investigators is whoever participated in any way, directly or indirectly, or by being an accessory after the facts, an aider or abettor of the crime will be brought to book. Let us keep politics out of this as justice will be served,” he said.

The CS further allayed fears of a delay in the investigation, pointing out that the murder investigation was launched immediately after the report was made, with a team of homicide detectives from Nairobi taking over the investigation from the local security team in Meru.

The CS added that investigations have placed five accused persons at the scene of the abduction crime, saying they have a watertight murder case against the suspects.

The five are Vincent Muriithi, Kenneth Murangiri, Christus Manyara Kiambi alias Chris, Brian Mwenda alias Brayo and Bonface Kithinji Njiiyia alias Dj Kaboom.

Sniper went missing on December 2, 2023, and his mutilated body was found dumped in the Mutonga River in Tharaka Nithi County on December 16, 2023.

CS Kindiki said investigations revealed that on December 2, 2023, the deceased was at his home when he received a call from Mr Muriithi requesting him to meet the deceased in Meru town to attend a purported meeting with Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza to discuss their differences so that the deceased would stop attacking her on social media.

On arrival, the CS said, the deceased was abducted and driven to Mutonga River in Chakariga, Tharaka Nithi County, before being killed and his body thrown into the river, where it remained undiscovered for several days.

Government Chemist

Investigations revealed that the five accompanied the deceased from Meru town to Mutonga River, where the body was dumped.

Samples taken and sent to the Government Chemist for analysis also revealed the presence of systemic insecticides in the body of the deceased.

“Murangiri was in constant contact with Mureithi during the time of luring the deceased, abduction and disposal of the body. He thereafter met Vincent and the other accused persons at Makutano suburbs after the execution of the crime,” said CS Kindiki.

“A charge of murder against recommended against the five. All were charged before the Kiambu High Court and all pleaded not guilty. They are remanded at Nairobi and Kitengela Remand Prisons,” he added.

He said the case was last mentioned on April 23, 2024, with bail ruling set for May 16, 2024, followed by the hearing of the case between May 24 and 26, 2024.

“From the foregoing, it is not true that there have been delays as the government is committed to upholding the freedom of expression or the right to information as enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.

The CS said he would talk to the family and the community to bury the body, arguing that there was no point in keeping the body unburied as the government didn’t need any pressure to do the right thing.

“We will reach out but the decision rests with the family on when to bury their loved one. I want to assure the House that the government is committed to making sure our agencies for enforcement act fairly and enforce the law against all persons without fear or favour or discrimination or bias,” said Mr Kindiki.

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