20 March 2019

Kenya: DCI Officers On the Spot in Murang'a Family Property Row

A family in a property dispute has accused officers attached to Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Murang'a County of being used by one of their members to harass and intimidate them in order for them to vacate their land in favour of their kin.

The family of late tycoon Stephen Kirubi has been at loggerheads over who should live in a home and control the 150-acre piece of land in Kirimiri village in Makuyu.

Five members have endorsed their lastborn, Kelvin Macharia Kirubi, to stay on the land while their fourth born Fredrick Kirugu Kirubi has differed with them and wants to control the farm.

DISPUTE

The dispute which erupted after the death of Mr Kirubi in 2006 and worsened last year after the death of their mother has seen the five members pulling from one side while Mr Kirugu pulls from the other.

It is the frequent visits by the detectives escorted by Mr Kirugu that prompted the family members to cry foul, accusing the officers of being manipulated by their brother to intimidate and harass them in a move they claim is aimed at forcing Mr Macharia, who currently occupies and controls the farm, to leave the palatial home.

STORMED HOME

According to Mr Macharia, his elder brother, accompanied by the DCI officers, has stormed and broken into their home four times with the latest incident being on Sunday when he was arrested and roughed up before he was thrown into a police vehicle.

He said the officers broke their two gates and the door to their home, handcuffed him and took him to a police Toyota Land Cruiser car before going back to the house and came out with bullets which they allegedly said they would charge him with being in illegal possession of.

BULLETS

He denied having the bullets in the house, saying that after occupying the house last year, they found a shotgun, a rifle and a pistol belonging to their late father who was a licensed gun holder and after consultations with his family members, they surrendered the firearms to Central Firearms Bureau.

"This is not the first time for the police and my brother to break into this house; it's the fourth time a year after they stormed and found me with my brother and after explaining that they were looking for guns we showed them the certificate from the Central Firearms Bureau and they left.

"In their first instance, the officers who were from the nearby Makuyu Police Station were about 15 but on Sunday the 20 officers were led by Kangema DCIO," Mr Macharia said.

LEFT IN POLICE CAR

He alleged that after arresting him, they first went to a restaurant where all the officers took alcohol with his brother while he was left in the police car for three hours before being taken to Makuyu Police Station.

He was later released at around 9 pm and ordered to report back to the County Criminal Investigations Officer Julius Rutere on March 26.

His brother, Julius Mwaniki, claimed that his calls to the DCIO were met with insults and intimidation that he too would be arrested.

INTIMIDATION

"The lead officer would insult and intimidate me saying that I would be arrested too and he adamantly refused to tell me where they were taking my brother. I believe this is an extended plan to intimidate us and force our lastborn leave our home which belonged to our parents," he said, further denying claims of bullets being found in the house.

However, Mr Rutere maintained that Mr Kirugu reported to his office that their brothers broke into his house and that the officers had gone to the home to do investigations when they found 61 bullets of different calibres.

INVESTIGATIONS

He said investigations are underway to establish who owned the bullets and whether the owner is a licensed gun holder.

"We understand that the owner of the home, Mr Stephen Kirubi, used to be a licensed gun holder but at the home we found one Kelvin Macharia who is not licensed to have a gun and that is why we arrested him and wevare in the process of verifying the owner of the bullets," Mr Rutere said.

He rubbished claims of harassing some members of the family saying if keeping the bullets in safe hands was harassment, then he had no issue with that.

"It is true we were led by their brother but if getting the ammunitions and placing them in safe hands would be described as harassments then so be it," he said.

The family said they are in the process of filing a complaint with the DCI and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.

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