DCI takes over probe into attack on Nation journalist

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has taken over investigations into the Friday dawn attack on a Nation Media Group correspondent, Mwangi Muiruri.

Mr Muiruri was attacked at the junction of Nairobi-Nyeri-Embu roads and his mobile phone and Sh2,000 cash forcibly taken away from him at gunpoint.

He was accosted at 5.30am by three men in blue suits driving in a Mazda Demio car whose number plates were soiled.

“We have detailed a team of officers to crack the incident. It was a rare attack that involved use of a firearm. We are using all capabilities at our disposal to identify the car and its occupants,” the Mwea Sub County Police Boss Mr Chrispinus Omongini told Mr Muiruri regarding the ongoing investigation.

Mr Omongini said security officers are pursuing crucial leads captured in the statement that Mr Muiruri recorded at the Makutano Police Station under Occurrence Book (OB) number 06/15/03/24.

The three men, one of whom was armed with a pistol, left after demanding passwords to his phone.

They confirmed Mr Muiruri’s physical identity through a passport-sized photograph on one of the attacker’s phone.

The officer leading the investigations, Mr Polycarp Lyatema, said the officers are relying on highway patrol unit infrastructure as well as possibility of nearby petrol station CCTV cameras to get leads on the vehicle number plates and identity of its occupants.

Among details submitted to the investigators are two numbers that had called Mr Muiruri hours earlier and suspected to have been used to get coordinates of where he was for the trailing and attack to be executed.

“By the look of execution of the attack it appears the motive was to grab the phone,” said Mr Lyatema.

He added that rarely do armed thieves use firearms to steal phones “unless the targeted gadget had valuable data that the attackers wanted to possess”.

The Friday early morning attack came hours after the Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria denied on his official X account (formerly Twitter) of having confirmed to Mr Muiruri his appointment of former journalist Jacquie Maribe to the position of Communications Director in his ministry.

CS Kuria claimed that Mr Muiruri had fabricated the story, alleging that a short message service (SMS) that he sent to the Nation journalist did not originate from his phone.

“Contrary to reports by the Nation, I have never been interviewed by the media House nor made any comment nor announcement about Jacque Maribe. The said screenshot is a forgery and I will be at DCI Headquarters at 9.30am tomorrow to report the Nation Media Group and the reporter of fraud and forgery,” CS Kuria posted on his X account on Thursday. It is not clear whether he made any report to the DCI regarding the claims.

CS Kuria’s denial of the interview with Nation came after the Public Service Commission said that it was not involved in Ms Maribe’s recruitment, contrary to what the public service minister had told Mr Muiruri.

Nation stands by the facts of its story, including quotes that were attributed to CS Kuria.

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