Missing Kenyan lawyer & taxi driver found dead


Bodies identified as those of missing Kenyan lawyer Willie Kimani and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were yesterday found in a river in Ol-Donyo Sabuk, Machakos County.

The two bodies were transferred to City Mortuary in Nairobi.

A third body, thought to be that of Kimani’s client Mwenda, slipped back into the river.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Ndegwa Muhoro said efforts to retrieve the missing body were under way.

Human rights groups said the rights lawyer, his client Josphat Mwenda and taxi driver Muiruri were abducted on June 23 while coming from court, where Mwenda faces several charges.

The three were suspected to have been abducted by Administration Police (AP) officers.

The court heard that the missing persons were last seen entering the Syokimau AP camp in Machakos County before they disappeared.

At City Mortuary, the superintendent in charge said two bodies were brought in by police at 8.15am from Ol-Donyo Sabuk.

Some of the mortuary attendants said the bodies were found with their hands tied behind their backs.

The records at the morgue show that the cause of their deaths was drowning.

Law Society of Kenya advocate Dan Kinuthia said the two were severely beaten and strangled.

Their bodies are reportedly swollen and in bad shape, he said.

He said he identified the lawyer, “because he was my friend. He was a tiny guy but his body is too swollen . . . likely they killed him a long time ago,” he said outside the mortuary.

The second body, Kinuthia said, was beaten up, had an ear missing and the hands were tied with a sisal rope.

Earlier yesterday, a court had given Police Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations up to 2pm to issue an interim report on the status of investigations over the disappearance of the three people.

During the hearing, lawyers wanted the government to be compelled to disclose their whereabouts.

They told the trial court that it is the responsibility of the State and representative agencies to ensure the safety of its citizens.

In a related development, Kenya’s police chief said three police officers will be arrested over the disappearance of the three men, including a human rights activist with the US-based International Justice Mission.

Boinnet spoke yesterday as two bodies thought to be those of the missing men were retrieved from a river in central Kenya.

Rights groups have said the charges, including narcotics possession, were trumped up by a policeman after he shot Mwenda without provocation in April 2015.

Mwenda had said he received threats after he reported the officer to the Independent Police Oversight Authority.

Meanwhile, at least six people were killed in Kenya yesterday when gunmen sprayed two buses with bullets near the border with Somalia, a regional official said.

The Somali militant group Al Shabaab carried out the attack, said Abdiasis abu Musab, al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations.

The attack came at 9:30 a.m. (2.30 am ET) as the buses were traveling in Mandera county to Mandera town from the capital, Nairobi, Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia told Reuters.

“So far we are talking of six dead,” he said, noting that the attack had happened on the road between Wargadud and Elwak. Abu Musab said one of those killed was a police officer.

Mandera has been the scene of frequent al Shabaab attacks, which have killed dozens of civilians and security personnel.

The United States warned its citizens on Thursday against traveling near the border with Somalia because of threats from al Shabaab.

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