By Miguna Miguna
FOR THE RECORD: This was my take on Mercy Keino’s cold blooded murder –
Two opinions and one
“Government/Kenya Police” position.
How Mercy Keino Was Murdered in cold blood
By MIGUNA MIGUNA, July 4, 2011
I have a confession to make. When I read about the grisly murder of the University of Nairobi student Mercy Keino, I cringed and cried so loud those near me might have thought I had gone crazy. I was. I am a proud father of four lovely young girls aged between fifteen and seven. I could only think of my girls when the news about Mercy’s death broke. So, readers should forgive me if I take her death personally. I do.
And for that reason, I am extremely upset with the ever fumbling and incompetent Kenya Police. I have read with more anger Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere’s plea that ‘Mwau aides should be charged.’ Gracious Lord; that’s the institution Kenyans expect to conduct investigations and apprehend Mercy’s killers?
By law, only the police have the mandate to conduct criminal investigations and apprehend criminals. But on that newspaper report Iteere is pleading with God-knows-who to arrest people that had staged a shooting and then lied to the police about it. Hallo? Why has it taken more than one week to lock up those scumbags?
Everyone who saw Harun Mwau’s vehicle after the alleged shooting knows that the damn thing was staged. It was staged so poorly that even the two actors couldn’t perform the skit. Everyone could see the driver’s smirk when questioned about how the six bullets could have struck very close to the car handle, with some bullets exiting on the passenger side door without touching either the driver or the bodyguard. They had no answers on how the driver’s window could be completely shattered with glass falling onto the seat where he sat during the ‘shooting’, yet he emerged unscathed.
Moreover, Iteere himself had declared that the way the shooting was supposed have occurred defies all laws of velocity (or was it ‘the law of munition’?)
The police only need ‘probable and reasonable basis to believe that a crime has been committed for them to arrest and charge a suspect. In the Mwau incident, there were a zillion ‘reasonable and probable cause’ to believe that the two actors had manufactured the story and lied to the police. Those are two charges right there. A third charge is the illegal use of firearm. A fourth one is ‘conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.’ Others would naturally follow after their arrests.
This brings me to the unforgivable cold-blooded murder of Mercy Keino. Why do I insist it was a cold-blooded murder? The story, as narrated by the local media, is pretty straight forward.
A beautiful young female university student is invited out by her cousin. They arrive in Westlands late evening and are ‘welcomed’ by two studs who, by all accounts are either pimps or drug enforcers. They meticulously interview the two young women, taking their personal details and identity documents. That’s clue number one.
At that point, a cautious, streets smarts girl would have started being suspicious. But Mercy is a rambunctious, naïve beauty who is eager to have a good time on a Friday evening. So, the two pimps or enforcers flag a taxi (a second clue) and take the girls to a ‘private’ party.
The party is warming up when they arrive. Curiously, the women outnumber men one to three. That’s clue number three. Clue number four is the age-bracket of the ‘girls’; all range between nineteen and twenty five.
But there is ‘business’ to discuss with the middle-aged to elderly ‘business suits’ already seated and others arriving (clue number five). Alcohol is flowing like the great Nile. Clue number six. The only wrinkle is that Mercy is a teetotaler, yet alcohol is integral to the execution of the ‘business’ at hand. Clue seven.
Although the women outnumber men, the place is clearly swarming with heavily built security; armed and unarmed. This is the eighth clue. Discussions veer towards the delicate and murky details of ‘transatlantic shipments of precious cargo.’ Whispers and codes used. Mercy is completely lost and starts getting restless. She wants to leave, NOW! That is the ninth clue.
But there is a problem; the ‘boss’, who has just arrived, cannot allow Mercy to leave. He thinks Mercy is dangerous. She has seen and heard too much. She is a risk the ‘business’ cannot take. He commands her to resume her seat and politely reminds her that she has two choices: ‘you either cooperate or you will become past tense.’ Mercy – naïve and boisterous – dares the ‘boss’ and attempts to leave.
A scuffle ensues and Mercy is forcibly confined. She pretends to relax and engages in small talk. A few minutes later, she suddenly runs towards the exit.
The muscle men quickly grab her and force her back inside. Mercy has become a captive. By this time, she has resolved not to cooperate.
Flashing before her is her fiancé and the wedding they had planned for December this year. ‘I can’t do this!’ she kept screaming. She took furtive glances at her cousin who was herself too scared to come to Mercy’s aid. Mercy is all alone now. The ‘boss’ has had enough. He orders his men to ‘feed her.’ She is forced to drink a cocktail of alcohol and other substances. This is clue number ten.
The effect was instant. The ‘boss’ gives a secret signal to his men. The exit suddenly opens for Mercy and she lunges at it. On reaching outside, the men tell her that they will call a taxi and ‘escort’ her home. She refuses but at this point, she has no options.
A sleek Mercedes ‘taxi’ dutifully arrives within minutes and Mercy is forced inside. What follows after this is well known to the underworld: rape, torture, strangulation and death. A few minutes later, the body is dumped on the busy Waiyaki Way. Clue number eleven.
Shortly thereafter, the ‘taxi’ is slowly driven into a hidden warehouse and its number plate removed. It is thoroughly vacuumed inside out and repainted. The number plate is transferred to another sleek Mercedes. Clue twelve.
A cover-up story is quickly manufactured and disseminated to senior editors in various media houses. Senior police officers are quickly roped in. Mercy is depicted as having been drunk, rowdy and reckless. A motor vehicle accident story has been carefully circulated. The media frenzy sets in. ‘It was an accident!’ they scream. The pathologist can’t tell the cause of death. That’s predictable. The story is latched onto by the inept and corrupt police and press. The police officer that witnessed the autopsy has been transferred. Clue thirteen.
This was supposed to be an open and shut case. Yet the police haven’t arrested anybody for aggravated assault, forcible confinement, unlawful detention, battery and torture. These are crimes disclosed by various newspaper reports. Additionally, the police should charge somebody with murder. But the witnesses are scared shitless. They are only repeating the cover-up stories they were fed by the agents of the ‘boss’.
Why haven’t the police searched and examined all homes, offices, apartments, rooms, hotels, motels, vehicles, warehouses, depots – anything connected with everyone who was at the party? What about the Nyayo Stadium where that Okello creep supposedly delivered a ‘bag’ after midnight on the day Mercy was murdered? Has it been combed? If not, why?
With the criminal negligence of the Samuel Kamau Wanjiru murder investigations, the Police Commissioner is proving to Kenyans that he cannot deliver. Let truth be told: Mercy refused to be a drug mule and for that she had to die. It’s as simple as that.
There you are: I’ve done it for my girls!
Police Spokesman Mr. Kiraithe responds to Miguna
Eric Kiraithe, Kenya Police Spokesman’s “Police Investigated Mercy’s Death Well,” July 6, 2011
Police Investigated Mercy’s Death Well .
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 14:41 BY ERIC KIRAITHE .
It is unfortunate that people like Miguna Miguna have exploited the tragic death of Mercy to hurl expletives at the Kenya Police. I will respond to some genuine concerns raised by several serious commentators but I cannot allow to go unchallenged the outpouring of vitriol, self-righteous ignorance and outright insults to the most down to earth Police Commissioner in post independence Kenya in Miguna’s article in the Star of July 2 headed ‘Get off your fat asses, Kenya Police.’
Miguna arrogantly pours scorn on the Commissioner of Police over his statement that Kenya police has recommended prosecution on the bodyguard and driver of Harun Mwau. In a piece of cheap political propaganda, he derisively wonders, “Iteere is pleading with God knows who…” implying that the police are the final authority in matters of prosecution. This is either pure ignorance or a deliberate camouflage.
The constitution (which Miguna often pretends to champion) expressly provides that the role of prosecution and investigation be separated. In the Mwau saga, police duly prepared the case file, made recommendations and forwarded it to the DPP.
Commissioner Matthew Iteere personally examined the crime scene. Miguna could have lifted a telephone and asked for information from the Commissioner’s office.
I have personally perused this case file and unlike Miguna’s “ever fumbling and incompetent Kenya Police”, I can confidently confirm this is a well investigated case by any standards. This position will be vindicated once the file lands in court.
My message to Miguna is singular, “ you must wake up wake to the reality that in Kenya Police, we have completely liberated ourselves from the bondage where political party propagandists would order some person to be arrested and prosecuted. Sir, those are some of the realities of the new constitution, take it or leave it”.
The second item which Mr. Miguna sought to exploit in his boisterous transformation from political party operative into expert investigator is the tragic death of Mercy Chepkoskei.
As a decent Christian, I agree that the family should be left to mourn in peace. I also share with Miguna the anger of all fathers who have had the blessing of bringing up daughters.
I confess that I felt trepidation when I requested the murder file but I never expected the level of professionalism evident therein. Police diligence was not the only impressive thing. I must salute the lady who at 3 a.m. in the morning saw what she believed was the commission of a crime. She pursued the vehicle, recorded its type and registration number, and duly gave it to the police.
Kudos also goes to the man who last saw the victim alive at about 2:30 a.m. and shortly after the fatal injuries. He proceeded to Parklands Police Station and made a comprehensive report. With Kenyans who can offer their evidence on serious crimes committed at the deadliest time of the night and police officers who can assemble the evidence provided, I’m convinced that Kenya is changing.
Back to the facts. On the morning of June 18 (over a week before the matter came to the press), Parklands Police Station received a report from a witness that he had seen a lady waving him down on Waiyaki Way.
About thirty minutes later, he found that lady had been fatally injured and was lying on the road. He gave all his details and all those in his company. Unlike those who would want to paint him as an accomplice to murder, I believe he is a credible witness because criminals never mention more than one witness as it is next to impossible to coach multiple witnesses.
Another lie is that the victim’s body was never tested for alcohol. She was tested and the results can be verified by any interested party. Without going into details that can hurt the bereaved, let me state we have done a professional job.
Although we have not been able to explain how the deceased met her death and identify who is responsible, the evidence so far has been professionally assembled and can always be exploited in future as investigations proceed. It is therefore dishonest for Miguna to suggest that this was an open and shut case.
In the meantime I feel obliged to tell my daughters and sons to please avoid secretive activities if they take you to out of way places during the hours of darkness, and if you cannot take with you at least two of your genuinely trusted friends.
This is to ensure that if you must bolt past midnight, you will not be alone. Have your fun in areas where the public is generally admitted. Learn from the fact that whatever we know about the last minutes of Mercy, at least two drivers on a public road took the trouble to report to the police and have stood to be counted.
Eric Kiraithe is the Kenya Police spokesman.
Police Are Now Complicit in Mercy Keino’s Murder
BY MIGUNA MIGUNA, July 12, 2011
Allow me to revisit the tragic, barbaric murder of Mercy Keino. I do so out of moral and professional duty. We owe it to Mercy, to our children and to society in general to do everything within our powers to find and punish the perpetrators of this most heinous and cowardly crime.
When a cold-blooded criminal takes away the life of an innocent person like Mercy, our silence, fear and lackadaisical attitude encourages the wrongdoer to continue committing more crimes. In Kenya, it is becoming a culture. As a trained barrister and solicitor, one who takes a keen interest on both investigatory and prosecutorial techniques, I would be failing in my responsibility if I shied away from asking tough questions where these haven’t been posed or answered. I am not going to be intimidated, threatened, coerced or soothed into silence by the incompetent, corrupt and docile police.
Before relocating to Kenya in 2007, I had acted for numerous families traumatised by the loss of their loved ones at the hands of the police. I once acted for a family who lost a 24-year-old young man, gunned down at a major downtown Toronto hospital on December 31, 1999 as he sought medical attention for his seriously ill infant baby boy. He was black. The shooters were all white. There was a protracted inquest and false death litigation that I was involved in.
I also represented families whose loved ones had perished in tragic road accidents. Numerous times, I have acted for plaintiffs and defendants in malpractice suits ¬ for and against lawyers and physicians. I have had my fair share of reviewing autopsy reports, medical charts and expert reports. I am no stranger to medical, actuarial, engineering, psychiatric and psychological expert reports.
In the past 15 years, I have cross-examined thousands of detectives, police officers, forensic scientists and physicians. I have also read thousands of police reports and notes. Those were a far cry from the patchy verbal narrations by the Kenya Police. So, I know a thing or two about the ‘best practices’ on how to handle crime scenes, how to preserve evidence, and how to detect inconsistencies, contradictions and lies in ‘case files’. When the media first reported on Mercy’s death, my brain went up in flames.
There were so many gaping gaps, questions, contradictions, inconsistencies and plain lies that were flying about. I thought I was watching a horror movie. Yet the police haven’t explained how they resolved them. For without a logical and satisfactory resolution, Mercy’s case must remain open. Criminal cases have no limitation periods!
I am well-trained and experienced in these matters. I have made a living analysing cases and asking relevant questions ¬ in and outside the courtroom. And in all my years of legal practice, I have never come across the kind and level of investigative ineptitude and clumsiness that the Kenya Police exhibit daily, but more particularly on the Mercy Keino, Samuel Wanjiru, Njuguna Gitau, Oscar King’ara and Oulu cases. I am also aware of their criminal incompetence on the political assassination cases of Pio Gama Pinto, TJ Mboya, Dr Robert Ouko, Dr Odhiambo Mbai, Father Kaiser, Bishop Alexander Muge and others.
We are told that Mercy had gone to a private party at the Wasini Luxury Homes accompanied by her female cousin. They arrived at the Oil Libya gas station next to The Mall in Westlands. They were met by two men, presumably working for those responsible for ‘arranging’ the private party. Both men closely examined their identity cards and took personal details from them.
Having successfully passed the ‘vetting procedure’, one of the men took Mercy and her cousin in a ‘taxi’ to the apartment and, upon arrival there, they found ‘the second man’ had arrived ahead of them. Like most young women, Mercy carried a handbag and a mobile phone. Please note that detail.
It is almost a given that both Mercy and her cousin carried some money; at least enough for a ride back to the university after the party. The money would most likely have been kept in the handbag as most young women between the ages of 19 and 25 would most likely have dressed in clothes without pockets. It’s most likely that the handbag also contained other ‘normal’ and ‘precious’ items young women carry in their handbags on a night out. An intelligent guess informs me that Mercy considered her handbag very precious. Like most young women, she would have kept it either on the table or on the floor next to her. There’s nothing unusual about that. I’ve done my due diligence and carefully examined the area around Wasini.
The distance between the Oil Libya to Wasini is about 1.4km, give and take. An average person would walk that distance in less than 40 minutes. A taxi would take two minutes from Oil Libya, barring bad traffic.
A direct route from Wasini to Waiyaki Way on Church Road is about 200 metres. A normal person would walk that distance in less than 20 minutes.
However, depending on the level of intoxication, forceful physical restraint or injury, a person might take more than an hour to reach the highway from Wasini on Church Road. There are no streetlights. It’s pitch dark between midnight and 5am on this route.
Because Mercy and her friend had followed the Sarit Centre route earlier, one would have expected her to do the same going back. Human beings are creatures of habit. Moreover, they had been met at Oil Libya earlier on, suggesting that they might have been unfamiliar with the general area. It’s therefore inconceivable that Mercy – whom the Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere claimed was ‘drunk and reckless’ – would have travelled or ran along Church Road in total darkness to her death on the highway alone.
If Mercy was physically unrestrained and she had both her mobile phone and money, she would have either taken a taxi (as they had done earlier) or called a friend or relative to pick her up. The media initially quoted an un-named source at Wasini had called a ‘taxi’ for her. Who was this person?
Has s/he been interviewed by the police? There isn’t any indication if or when the ‘taxi’ arrived at Wasini. If it did, where did it take Mercy and who paid for the ride? Has the ’taxi’ company or driver given a detailed credible account of what happened between the time they were called and the time they arrived at Wasini? Answers to these questions would help unravel how Mercy’s badly mangled body ended up on the highway that morning.
Another undisclosed source claimed that Mercy left Wasini running with a few ‘bodyguards’ chasing after her towards the highway. Who were these men? Who did they work for? Have the police interviewed them? If so, have they clearly explained how Mercy died? More significantly, is that story consistent with Iteere’s scandalous claim that Mercy was ‘drunk and reckless?’ How does anyone who was not at the party speak about Mercy’s recklessness?
The source even claimed that he ‘witnessed’ Mercy being knocked down by a vehicle on Waiyaki Way after 2am. What was he doing in the darkness at that time? Did he contact the police promptly with that information? Has this witness described the men who were chasing Mercy? Have the police arrested those men? If indeed that story is credible, how could Mercy have been ‘run over’ by several vehicles? Couldn’t the ‘witness’ have alerted the motorists of the ‘accident?’ How come the witness never offered assistance and never came forward until the media broke the story?
The police have claimed that alcohol was found in Mercy’s blood. The question is: do the police know how the traces of alcohol got into her blood? Couldn’t the alcohol have been forcefully given to her or injected into her body? Couldn’t her drink have been spiked? Did the toxicology report reveal the presence of other substances? What were their levels? Were the levels of alcohol or other substances (if any) indicative of normal consumption or something sinister? This could easily be determined from examining the liver.
Apparently, Mercy’s handbag and mobile phone were ‘found’ in Wasini after she had been murdered. The police want us to believe that Mercy ‘left behind’ both her mobile phone and handbag. Why? How? No female university student, in fact, no female generally, would have left behind the phone she needed to call for help or assistance.
Usually, a woman won’t leave her handbag behind even when going to the bathroom; more so after the reported altercation with a ‘flamboyant’ Kenyan politician. The only logical explanation why Mercy’s handbag and mobile telephone weren’t found next to her body on the highway was because she didn’t leave the Wasini voluntarily. She was a captive. Her captors knew that with modern technology, one can be traced through a phone. So, they deliberately took it away. But have the police investigated all these angles? Your guess is as good as mine.
The police have latched on to the incredible story of an ‘Uthiru-bound motorist’ who ‘noticed a woman flagging down vehicles on the highway after 2am’. He allegedly noticed a badly injured woman lying on the same spot where the other woman had been. That’s a bald-faced lie. Why didn’t he stop and offer assistance to her? How would the motorist have seen Mercy’s injuries on the opposite side of the highway in total darkness?
If he had seen a woman waving down vehicles on his way to Uthiru, it means she had not run into the oncoming traffic as another undisclosed Wasini source had alleged; she would have either been injured or dead already. Why would she be waving down a motorist driving towards Uthiru, anyway? The University of Nairobi-bound vehicles would be driving on the opposite side of the road. Or could it be that she was desperate to catch the eye of a ‘good Samaritan’ because of imminent danger lurking in the dark?
In any event, how did the Uthiru-bound man see the opposite side of the highway after 2am in total darkness on his way back? At that spot, it’s impossible even during the day to notice anything much on the opposite side of the highway, never mind on a virtually unlit road at night. The Church Road side of Waiyaki Way is about 15 feet higher than the opposite side at the point where Mercy’s body was found, at least, and has a barrier, where the traffic comes up on the slip road section between the two carriageways to change direction. In any event, have the police conducted tests at the scene to confirm the Uthiru man’s bizarre story? If so, can they publish those results?
But then, there is a lady who said she saw a motorist dumping Mercy’s body on the highway then driving off. She followed him and wrote down the make, model and the registration number of the vehicle. She then drove to the nearest police station and reported the matter within a few minutes of witnessing the ‘crime’. In countries where police know their job, that’s more than enough to crack the case.
With that piece of evidence, why did the police allow Mercy to be buried within days of her death? Why didn’t the police treat the death as homicide immediately? How come the fake investigations were only ‘conducted’ after the media broke the story?
Perplexingly, the police have latched on to the Uthiru-bound man’s bizarre story and not the lady’s. Ironically, the Uthiru-bound man never reported his bizarre story to the police immediately after he ‘saw the badly injured lady’. He conveniently waited until the media broke the story ¬ one week later. Why? Was he planted? Is he a real witness?
Between the two stories, which one sounds more credible and therefore believable? Why shouldn’t the police treat the Uthiru-bound man as a potential suspect?
There is another peculiar detail: When Mercy’s body was found on the road, there was not much blood at the scene. Why? If Mercy was a victim of a ‘hit-and-run’ and her body badly mangled as a result, as the corrupt and incompetent police want us to believe, why wasn’t the scene messy with blood?
The police said Mercy’s skull had no brain; did they find parts of her brain on the road? If not, why? Isn’t it possible that the body was mutilated elsewhere before being dumped on the highway? Isn’t it also possible that the murderers are the same people who repeatedly ran over Mercy’s body after dumping it on the highway? Why didn’t the police visit the scene immediately after the report by the lady? On what basis have they latched on to the hit-and-run concoction?
Why haven’t the police thoroughly investigated everyone at the party, including the ‘boss’, cooks, waiters, watchmen and security people? How about the drug-dealing angle? What happened to the CCTV cameras? Have those been investigated? Why not? We want to know.
The Kenya Police have become unacceptably inept and corrupt. In the Samuel Wanjiru case, the police have refused to investigate a credible story linking the deceased’s wife to a senior police officer in Nyahururu. They have refused to disclose who were in the Toyota Prado that arrived at the Wanjiru compound with Teresia Njeri that fateful night. They haven’t released the autopsy report and explained what caused the fatal blow to the back of Wanjiru’s head if he had jumped from the balcony as the police have alleged.
These are questions I would have asked, had I been involved as a lawyer in this case and other cases. And the police must answer them to our satisfaction instead of expecting us to swallow their garbage. We aren’t total idiots!
Logins is a former Nairobi Gubernatorial Contestant and integrity champion in Kenya. The views expressed here are his own.