The High Court yesterday sentenced former police officer Titus Musila, alias Katitu, to 15 years imprisonment for killing a suspect in Githurai in 2013.
He will serve 12 years in custody and three years in probation. Justice James Wakiaga said the Prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the officer, who was popular among Githurai 45 residents for combating crime, killed Kenneth Kimani Mwangi. He committed the crime at Githurai bus stage on March 14, 2013.
“The sentence will serve as a stern warning and a deterrence to other police officers on misuse of firearms,” said the judge. The court, however, ruled that Katitu serves eight years in prison as he had already spent the first four in custody before being released on bond.
Justice Wakiaga said despite the officer being a hero to the people of Githurai, he acted against the law by taking a life of an individual, adding that the suspect did not deserve to die the way he did.
He said the trial was not about Katitu’s popularity or whether the person he killed was a well known robber in Githurai, but about the unlawful use of a firearm.
“No officer has a right to take the life of an individual and in this case the victim cannot be restored,” said the judge, adding that the officer should have identified himself and given a clear warning.
Instead, he shot his victim dead at close range. Katitu’s arrest sparked protests and running battles between residents and law enforcers in 2014, with locals claiming he was a good policeman and that they felt safe with him.
Through lawyer Cliff Ombeta, Katitu pleaded for leniency, saying he was remorseful and had a young family dependent on him. He said he has served in the police service for 20 years before the incident happened. “I pray for a non-custodial sentence to enable me to serve the community,” said Katitu.