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Dreaded police impostor arrested, implicate two officers in his game.

John Nyaachi Munuvi, a suspect held at Ngoliba Police Station for impersonating a police officer and handling handcuffs.
Police in Ngoliba, Thika East are holding a middle-aged man posing after he was cornered by members of the public in Gatuanyaga area while asking for bribes from small traders and bodaboda riders while posing as a security officer.

John Nyaachi Munuvi was rescued by an area community policing elder who restrained an irate mob at Ngurai shopping centre who were baying for his blood after suffering in his hands for quite a while.

According to the residents, Munuvi has been terrorising them through dubious arrests where at times posing as a NEMA official cracking down people still using plastic bags.

“We have suffered for a very long time with this man. About three weeks ago, he 'arrested' me and demanded sh. 5000 bribe from me for packing mandazis in polythene bags. After a very long tussle, I bought my release with sh. 2000,” explained Richard Sawanda, a snacks bodaboda vendor.

Sawanda said that the suspect usually carried some handcuffs which he threatened to handcuff all his victims.

Yesterday, which seemed to be his 40th day, he hired a bodaboda and along the way, he threatened to arrest the rider for answering a call while carrying an 'officer'.

“I saw him from the side mirror remove his handcuffs so as to arrest me. So, when I approached Ngurai, I raised alarm and residents responded immediately,” explained Lucas Wamwea Ngugi.

Luckily, Sawanda happened to be around and identified Munuvi as the same 'officer' who had arrested him previously. He immediately called the area Community Policing Chairman Stephen Kiarie Gitua who confirmed that the suspect was not an officer at Munyu Police Post as he claimed.

It later emerged that he had conned several other people that same morning, including an elderly woman who operates a small kiosk.

Angered by the new development, the angry residents pounced on him and threatened to lynch him. They were restrained by Gitua who demanded to know how the suspect came to possess a handcuff.

The suspect confessed to have been gotten the handcuff about three weeks ago from a certain police officer from Munyu by the name John. He alleged that the officer, along with his colleague by the name 'Maasai', told him to use it to make money for himself and the officers.

“He (John) told me not to worry and in case I am arrested, I should just call any of them,” said Munuvi.

(Related story: Gatuanyaga residents living in fear after gang trotting youth reign terror.)

Munuvi claims to be a truck driver with Meru Dairy Co-operative Union Limited to supply Mt. Kenya Milk products in the area.

He says that after delivering the consignment, the truck packs machine-cut construction stones and goes to sell the in Meru.

“We met with John in one of the visits in this area and after some time we hatched this plot to be soliciting bribes from unsuspecting wananchi using this handcuffs,” said Munuvi.

Ironically, the residents handcuffed Munuvi using his own manacles and frog marched to the nearby Gatuanyaga AP Post.

Officers had a very rough time containing the irate mob who accused them of protecting their own who they said were accomplices in crime. They demanded that they too be apprehended as they were to blame for the escalating insecurity in the area.

The standoff, that lasted the entire day, saw some youth light bonfires along Thika-Garissa Road but the police managed to contain the situation without any ugly scenes.

Some of the scenes at Gatuanyaga after frustrated residents lit bonfires along Thika-Garissa Road to protest against escalating insecurity in the area.
Thika East OCPD Julius Kyumbule promised to investigate the matter and vowed to institute legal proceedings against any of his officers found culpable.He however denied that the handcuffs belonged to the police force, arguing that it bore no serial number from the force.

He added that he would also embark on a serious operation to mop out all the criminal elements in the area.

Gatuanyaga has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately with so many cases of insecurity. Residents have accused the police and some of their leaders especially those in the provincial administration of harbouring criminals and abetting crime.

“These criminals are known and are being protected by the same people entrusted with our security. We have been having so many crimes in Gatuanyaga and in some instances, the criminals have been using guns suspected to have been hired by some of these officers. Recently, a gun used to commit crime was secretly handed over to the authorities and no one including the person who surrendered that gun has been arrested or questioned how it came into his hands,” said Gitua.

Area MCA Joseph Kahira and John Mwangi, the Personal Assistant to the Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina assured the residents that they will follow up the matter to a logical conclusion. 

They appealed for calm but warned that if the officers failed to take action, they too will use legal powers at their disposal to ensure the freedom and right to security for the people of Gatuanyaga was respected.

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