Disabled man shot dead as he scrambles for crutches to escape from car

Cold-blooded gangsters snuffed out the life of a physically handicapped man as he struggled out of a vehicle moments after they shot his driver.

The ruthless gangsters felled the man identified as Wemba Mbakhaya, 40, after shooting him in the chest as he desperately reached for his crutches to leave on Saturday night.

The driver, Natembea Nandoli, 36, was shot in the left side of his neck and stomach but miraculously survived the attack.

Police quoted witnesses saying the gang of six thought Mbakhaya was reaching for a gun, prompting the shooting. This happened minutes after a police officer, Corporal Japheth Mwiti, was shot and killed in a macabre attack outside a food kiosk near Naivas Supermarket in Nairobi's Kayole estate.

The officer attached to Kayole Police Station was shot five times by six gunmen who had trailed him as he left a pub he owns. Apparently, the killers were on a mission to eliminate him as they did not steal anything except his gun, which was loaded with 15 bullets.

A woman who was with him and identified as Cathrine Wairimu, 29, was also shot and wounded in the thighs. She was rushed to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital and her condition is said to be stable.

Recounting the incident, Ms Wairimu said she had been with Mr Mwiti in his pub all evening. Both Wairimu and Mwiti own neighbouring pubs in Kayole. Wairimu said they had been enjoying themselves until midnight, when they decided to leave in the policeman's car.

But before they could even get into the car, a group of fairly young men emerged and started shooting.

"He (Mwiti) pushed me when the bullets started flying and I fell down before he drew a gun," she said.

When they confirmed he was dead, they pointed a gun at me and hit me three times. They were aiming at the upper part of my body. They thought I was dead and left," she said.

A bewildered Wairimu said she had no idea why she and Mwiti had been attacked as the killers did not steal anything besides the gun.

"I have no clue about the motive or the people (who attacked us)."

But according to Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome, Mwiti had finished his official duties and left for a late supper at the kiosk at about 2.30am when the gang struck. There had been a police operation in the area in which Mwiti was involved.

Mr Koome said one of the gunmen had approached a guard at the kiosk after spotting his car outside and asked if he was still in there.

FIVE TIMES

"When he walked out of the kiosk, they first shot the woman twice in the legs before hitting the officer five times, killing him on the spot. We suspect they were after him," he said.

The gang then grabbed his gun before walking away.

A few metres ahead, they confronted a motorist transporting the disabled man and two others. They first shot and wounded the driver before hitting the disabled man, police said.

The other occupants of the car escaped unhurt.

The sound of gunshots in the dead of the night alerted police who rushed to the scene to find the killers had already escaped.

Koome said no arrests had been made, adding that the injured victims were in stable condition.

"We don't understand why they killed such a man (Mbakhaya)," said Koome.

Mwiti's colleagues and friends described him as a hard working policeman who had served in various police stations and levels.

And in Mihango, a few kilometres from Kayole, another gang killed a night guard in an attempted robbery. The gang had reportedly tried to get into a house when the guard stopped them. Police said they hit him on the head with a blunt object.

On Thursday, two thugs were shot dead in a botched robbery along the Dandora-Mwiki road. Police recovered a homemade gun, a pair of handcuffs, a police communication device and knives.


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