The trial of Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa for the murder of an ODM supporter began Monday, with the first witness linking Jumwa to the murder.
Mr Alfred Kahindi, the party’s representative at the time, recreated the situation in which Ms Jumwa, her two bodyguards, and a crowd attacked Mr Reuben Katana’s house, resulting in violence.
The event occurred at 4 p.m., according to the witness, when he and other ODM leaders were meeting to strategize on how the votes for the Ganda ward by-election would be protected. Agents of Mr Katana, the ODM candidate, were present at the meeting.
“A police Landcruiser approached the homestead, the party officials left the meeting and briefly talked to the officers, who then left,” he told Mombasa High Court Judge Anne Ong’injo.
Another police vehicle arrived at the property less than 20 minutes later, he added, and two more vehicles arrived shortly after. The two vehicles were exited by Ms Jumwa and two security. Following that, a sizable crowd joined Ms Jumwa and marched to the meeting location.
“I heard Ms Jumwa castigating the police for failing to do the work that she had sent them to do. She then promised to do it herself,” the witness said. At that point, he said, Ms Jumwa’s supporters started throwing stones.
The MP also instructed her supporters to set fire to Mr Katana’s homes, according to the court.
According to the court, residents of Mr Katana’s household began attacking Ms Jumwa’s supporters.
Mr Kahindi claimed that the police fired shots into the air and used tear gas canisters to disperse the two groups, but that the violence continued.
“I fell to the ground when I heard the first two gunshots. The gunshots continued as the warring groups scampered for safety,” he said.
After the police removed the unruly teenagers who had taken over the home, the witness, who was being led in his examination-in-chief by senior state counsel Vivian Kambaga, realized Jola Ngumbao had been shot.
“I saw Ngumbao bleeding profusely from his shoulder at the back. He was lying facing down. There was a bullet hole in his right chest,” he said.
He then raised the alarm, and Mr William Mtengo’s vehicle rushed the sufferer to the hospital. “I later found out that Ngumbao had passed away.” “He was my next-door neighbor,” he explained.
The witness further stated that the next day, he returned to the crime scene and discovered one expended cartridge where Ngumbao had fallen. He claimed he gave the evidence to Mr Mtengo, who agreed to turn it over to the cops.
Mr Kahindi acknowledged that Ms Jumwa and her aide, Mr Geoffrey Otieno Okuto, invaded the homestead during cross-examination by the defense led by Jared Magolo and Danstan Omari.
“I saw Jumwa, Okuto and another person. I don’t know whether they were armed because I did not see them with guns,” he said.
“Ngumbao died as a result of the chaos that erupted when the suspects and their supporters stormed our meeting. Though I did not see them shooting anyone,” he said when Mr Omari asked him whether he had seen Ms Jumwa or Okuto open fire at the deceased.
When asked if he knew Mr Okuto, the witness stated that he was the one that accompanied Ms Jumwa on that particular day, but that he did not recognize him by name.
“He was with her (Jumwa) and another person on that day,” he said while pointing at Mr Okuto in the dock.
He also described Okuto’s clothing on that particular day. According to the witness, the raucous youth numbered in the hundreds.
The witness further stated that he overheard Ms Jumwa chastising the cops for not doing their job, and that she was there to do it herself.
The two have been charged with murder, according to the witness, for storming into the meeting.
Before assaulting the homestead, Mr Kahidi said he didn’t know if the suspects planned to kill Ngumbao.
The two have been charged with the assassination of Ngumbao during the 2019 Ganda Ward by-election campaign.
Ms Jumwa and Mr Okuto have stated that they did not conduct the crime on October 15, 2019.
Mr Katana, who won the by-election to become the Ganda ward rep, was Ngumbao’s uncle.
The hearing is still going on today (Tuesday).