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KNCHR Urges DCI and DPP To Expedite Investigation Into Deadly Karebe Gold Mining Blast That Killed 3

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has expressed concern about the status of investigations into a deadly blast that occurred in Nandi/Chemase 974 on January 23, 2023.

The commission has written to both the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) seeking answers about the progress of the investigations and any recommendations to charge suspects.

The blast occurred in the mining shafts in Kibisem Location in Tinderet Sub-county, Nandi County, and resulted in the deaths of three Karebe Gold Mining employees, Julius Kipchumba Agui, Geoffrey Onyango, and Geoffrey Kipchirchir Rotich.

Six others were seriously injured and admitted to Nandi Hills sub-county hospital.

Following the incident, suspects fled their homes and went into hiding, but members of the community located them in a house in Kibisem after a virtual court session on February 6, 2023, where they had been charged with arson. The community alerted the police, who arrested ten suspects and escorted them to Songhor Police Station for questioning.

The suspects were arraigned before the Chief Magistrates Court in Kapsabet, and the investigating officer was granted 14 days to hold them in custody pending further investigations.

The investigation was then taken up by investigators from DCI Headquarters, who completed the investigation and recommended a murder charge against the suspects.

A duplicate file was forwarded to the ODPP Nairobi for perusal, directions, and further action in court.

Concerns were raised when the state made an application to continue holding the suspects for a further ten days, but the court dismissed the application and released the suspects on bail.

Karebe Gold Mining Limited: A Tale of Politics, Harassment and Court Battles

In the letter, KNCHR has sought answers to pertinent questions, including the position of the DCI file, the current position of the file forwarded to the ODPP for perusal, directions, and further action, and why it is taking too long to charge suspects.

KNCHR has implored both the DCI and the DPP to act urgently and provide answers within three days, failing which they will explore other legal options to compel action and bring the perpetrators to book.

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