Traders in Murang’a town and parts of Kirinyaga are living in fear after four criminal suspects escaped from police custody in Sagana.
The four robbers had been arrested and arraigned in a Kirinyaga court but the prosecution requested the court for more time to complete investigations.
They were to be presented in court on Monday but managed to escape from Sagana police station over the weekend.
Area OCPD, Abdulahi Adan Wario who spoke to journalists said the four escaped through the window of the cell after they cut the wire mesh and the metal frames using a hacksaw.
“We are investigating the whole scenario to establish what could have happened and where they could have gotten the hacksaw they used to cut through the metal bars,” Wario said.
He said the suspects Willis Githuku, Martin Ndungu, Charles Mwangi and Julius Murigi were arrested and arraigned in court on January 27, 2020 but the investigating officers asked for more time to enable them gather enough evidence.
Wario said one of the suspects had attacked a police officer along the Sagana – Murang’a road and took off with a gun but police managed to shoot him down and recovered the firearm later.
“We took them to court under heavy security, and we were not taking any chances, that is why we are going to carry out thorough investigations to establish how they mysteriously escaped from our cell here,” the OCPD said.
Wario said they were following a lead and believed they would be able to get the suspects in due time.
He assured traders who previously fell victim to the suspects should not live in fear as police were on the lookout and have enhanced patrols in the affected areas.
Last week, the area Deputy County Commissioner Moses Ivuto held a baraza for the members of the public who were happy that the police had nabbed the suspects and the gun recovered in the process.
But hearing of the suspects escaped from the police custody, Ivuto said he was dismayed and urged the members of the public to volunteer information that can help the police re-arrest the suspects.
The Mwea Member of Parliament, Wachira Wathayu who also sits in the Parliamentary Committee on security said the matter was serious and should not be taken lightly.
“Where on earth did the suspects get the hacksaw to use? We don’t even have knitting needles in the cells, and there is a lot to tell in this incident,” he said.
Wachira said investigations should be hastened as it is not known what the suspects could be planning to commit out there.
“I will leave it to the investigators but I am also appealing to our neighboring counties to give police a tip off in the event they come across them,” he said.
He said such criminals in future should be taken to prison for custody, while they await trial of their cases to start to avoid escape in future.
He said Kirinyaga has two men’s prisons and it should not be a big issue for such suspects to be taken there where security is more enhanced than the police cells.
By Irungu Mwangi