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Address the inordinate delay in the Nanyuki Murder, MPs tell investigating agencies

Address the inordinate delay in the Nanyuki Murder, MPs tell investigating agencies

Members of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations have asked agencies investigating the alleged death of Ms. Agnes Wanjiru by British Soldiers in Nanyuki to get their act together and avail justice to the family of the slain lady.

In a Committee session chaired by Saku MP, Hon. Diddo Raso, and where representatives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), the Office of the Attorney General and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI) had been invited, legislators expressed their dismay following the inordinate delay the case has taken to be concluded. The MPs could not understand why it has taken too long for the culprits to be brought to justice, yet the suspected culprits had confessed on social media of committing the heinous crime.

The team from the ODPP led by the Director, Noordin Haji told the committee they have been waiting for the investigation file to be forwarded to their office by the DCI after which they will expeditiously review the investigation file once received, and make a decision in line with article 157 of the Constitution.

“ Further, the office has plans to initiate extradition proceedings for the persons found culpable of the heinous murder of Agnes Wanjiru”, read a section of their submission to the Committee.

Mr. Haji informed that Committee that after the unfortunate demise of the lady, his office had through the courts requested for an inquest to be carried out, after which it was determined that the victim was murdered. He noted that it is the results of the inquest that have paved the way for the ongoing fresh investigations. 

Earlier, the head of the homicide division in the ODPP Gikui Gichuki recounted the steps that the office has taken in an effort to bring the culprits to book.

Presenting their submissions, the representative from the Attorney General’s office Elizabeth Wamocho apprised the Committee that on 5th November in 2021, the office requested their counterparts in the United Kingdom to offer mutual legal assistance as well as information on the suspects. It is expected that this information will assist fasten the investigations.

Noting that there are glaring gaps with regard to the progress of investigations submitted to the Committee, MPs wondered why the agencies have not come up with a multi-agency approach, with a single head from among the agencies spearheading the investigations. 

They bemoaned that the delay in concluding this matter was threatening the cordial relationship between Kenya and the United Kingdom especially coming at a time when the National Assembly is set to consider the Defence Cooperation Agreement which is due for ratification. The legislators also told the team that the matter had attracted a huge interest from among Members of the public who were keen to see the suspects extradited to face justice in the country.

“The implication is much wider than we may think because it affects the diplomatic relations between the our two countries. It is therefore important that we address the ping pong between the offices of the DCI and ODPP which we maybe causing this delay”, said Hon. Martha Wangari.

Committee Member Gideon Konchella challenged DIrector Haji to take charge and lead the process of  investigations. While acknowledging that it was unfortunate that the matter had taken too long to be resolved, Mr. Haji told the Committee that the delay is attributed to the intricate nature of the case but assured the Committee that he would ensure that Justice is served.

“I admit that there were inordinate delays. At some point the file went missing at the courts. But I want to let you know that I hold this matter as an important matter. Henceforth, I will handle this matter personally.I assure you that this matter will be dealt with as it should”, undertook Mr. Haji

He assured the lawmakers that there's an existing treaty on extradition between Kenya and the United Kingdom and as soon as investigations are concluded, his office would start the process of extraditing the suspects to face justice locally.

He however revealed  that inasmuch as the agencies had taken time to conclude the matter, it had been hard to find witnesses to write statements as all identified witnesses were afraid to testify against the British Army personnel fearing retribution. 

The lawmakers were not satisfied with the submissions from the office of the Director of Criminal Investigations which was represented by Mr. Joseph Ashimala and have now directed that the Director appears before the Committee next week on Thursday.