Fresh twist: Activists rubbishes police defense on Mombasa killings
On March, 27, police murdered five people in Bombolulu area within Nyali Sub county, Mombasa.
They termed the battle as ‘fierce’ and that they had acted on a ‘tip-off’ from the public.
Police further revealed that the dead were “suspicious, lived together in a single room without furniture, and were armed”.
“They did not follow orders to surrender and started shooting at police,” said Nyali Sub-county police commander Daniel Masaba.
He further said “Our officers returned heavy fire that killed the five instantly”.
Human rights organisation, MUHURI said after interviewing dozens of witnesses, families of victims, and sources within the morgue where the bodies are lying awaiting autopsy police have been off from the onset.
“Our findings hugely differed from the police’s clichéd version that there was a “shootout”. What started as a police abduction on March 17 ended in a cold blood murder 10 days later—five men executed at dawn in an abandoned house,” said MUHURI Chairperson Khelef Khalifa.
According to MUHURI, of the five murdered, the human rights lobby had identified 62 year old Benedicto Kago Mugure and 43 year old Newton Kibara.
Kibara did menial jobs to fend for his family, while Mugure was a tuk-tuk driver.
On March 17, Kisauni police separately abducted Kibara and Mugure.
Nine police officers, donning balaclavas abducted Kibara at 3 pm in Mishomoroni, Kisauni and torched his motorbike.
Police drove off in three Land Cruisers.
Mugure’s abduction was at 11 am in his house in Mtopanga, Kisauni. Police assaulted Mugure’s two house helps, locked them in a room and disappeared with him.
The two abductees did not know each other, their families said, and their search at local police stations bore no fruit.
Police expressly denied they were holding them despite witnesses and families identifying their abductors as armed law enforcement officers who wore police uniforms.
“In fact, OCS at Dog Section station and other police towed Kibara’s torched motorbike to the station,” noted Mr. Khalifa.
[The late Benedicto Kago Mugure, 62 who was murdered by police in Bombolulu, Mombasa. Photo/courtesy].
Kibara’s family booked the abduction at Dog Section police station and obtained OB number 45/17/3/21.
They made another report of a missing person after 72 hours. Several Mugure family members booked the incident separately at Kadzandani police station on different dates and got three OB numbers: 23/18/03/21; 15/20/3/2021 and; 25/21/3/21.
The two families only learnt of the demise of their respective kin when they checked at Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH) morgue on March 28, 11 days after their abduction.
“If there was a “shootout”, as alleged by police, how did it happen yet the deceased had been in police custody since March 17?” said one of the kin Juliana Nyambura.
Police murdered Mugure, Kibara and three others in a single-roomed residential house in Bombolulu, Kisauni, that measured 16ft by 15-and-half ft. The size of the room indicated the shots were close-ranged.
While one wall of the room was scarred by bullet holes, MUHURI found no marks on the other three walls, door, windows, or surrounding houses to suggest anyone had fired back. Therefore, the police account of a shootout according the rights defender does not add up.
The room had remained unoccupied since March 12 when its tenant, John Kamau Mugwe, was last seen. Neighbours told MUHURI they did not see anyone—leave alone the deceased—accessing the room. And since Mugure and Kibara were under police custody since March 17 and were never released or arraigned for possible charges, evidence and witnesses’ accounts show police might have dragged them in a cover of darkness to this room before the execution at 4:30-5:30 am on March Saturday 27.
Police then alleged they “recovered an AK-47 and 30 bullets”, but there is a possibility police planted the weapon using old exhibits from previous cases, as they have been doing countless times according to human rights defenders.
Police said they recovered a motorbike used by the deceased to commit a crime, however, but the Human rights organisation says its has since established that the motorbike belongs to the landlord of the house where police murdered the five, for which he uses in his clearing and forwarding job at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
[The late Newton Kibara, 43. Photo/courtesy].
More than 10 security officers were involved in these murders, witnesses said.
They wore combat helmets and were heavily armed. They used white armoured Land Cruisers beside the other five police vehicles. The officers who carried the execution are believed to be from the elite squad, Rapid Response Team (RRT)–a unit infamous for nighttime raids that have resulted in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and illegal renditions.
RRT receives tactical, weaponry, and combat support from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Britain’s MI6. The unit left the scene immediately after the execution, and another team, comprising of Kenyan police, went to seal and clear it.