Sonko to bail police officer arrested for killing two brothers
Nairobi senator Mike Sonko has toured the troubled Thika Superhighway where for the second day in a row police engaged with residents in running battles demanding the immediate release of a police officer arrested for killing a suspected criminal.
Constable Titus Musila, popularly known in the area as Katitu, was charged on Friday for killing Kenneth Mwangi in April 2013 and is being investigated for the death of Oscar Mwangi on August 24 by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa).
Mwangi, a key witness in his brother’s killing and a suspected thief, was shot dead at Githural roundabout three days after the Director of Public Prosecution ordered the arrest of the police officer attached to the Kasarani police division.
Sonko arrived at Githurai 45 at 4pm Wednesday where residents immediately started chanting anti riot police slogans.
He said he will notify President Uhuru Kenyatta about the matter facing the police officer.
“Saa hii naenda kuona president (I am going to see the President now),” he told the protesters urging them not to destroy property.
Sonko said the government should heed the calls of the Githurai residents and release Katitu unconditionally.
“If the people have asked that he (Katitu) be released, then they must be listened to,” Sonko said.
On Tuesday residents of Githurai 45 for the second time caused a major traffic snarl-up while protesting the arrest of Katitu whom they said was a hard working officer who had managed to cut high crime rates in the area.
The protesters claimed that the two men he is said to have killed were known hardcore criminals.
The DPP ordered Katitu’s arrest after receiving claims from the family accusing him of killing the two brothers.
Mwangi’s relatives protested his shooting claiming it was a case of mistaken identity.
The protesters however said that he was a notorious criminal and that most of his accomplices have also been killed while others have fled Githurai.
Kasarani OCPD Augustine Nthumbi on September 5 during a similar protest said police recovered a sword and stolen mobile phones from the suspect.
“The slain criminal tried to snatch the officer’s gun when told to surrender, ” he said.
The residents also want the police constable promoted.
“The officer is passionate about his work. He is our protector in Githurai,” boda boda rider Paul Ndungu said.
Nthumbi acknowledged that cases of mugging at the Githurai 45 roundabout have significantly decreased.
“Pedestrians used to be mugged in broad daylight,” he said.
Nthumbi said Katitu works as an undercover officer and does a great job.
Members of the public defending a law enforcer is a rare occasion.
Separately, a young man’s body was retrieved from a pond along the Thika superhighway after he fell and drowned while running away from anti riot police during the Tuesday protest. The pond is next to Clayworks Ltd.
A witness said the dead man was a loader at Githurai 45.
“He transports water using this cart and I was with him just before he joined the protesters,” said the witness.
Nthumbi said the man committed suicide.
His body was taken to City Mortuary.