Why 6 Mtwapa Police Officers shot dead Palm wine tapper Juma Changawa,25 at Mtomondoni


Mtwapa Mtomondoni residents photo
Mtomondoni area residents

Mtwapa Police officers are on the spot after a contingent of officers claimed to be connected to the brutal killing of a palm wine tapper in the Mtomondoni area of Kilifi South Sub County on Monday morning.

The officers allegedly shot Juma Changawa,25, on the head at close range, killing him instantly on Monday 10, 2021.

The family led by the late Changawa’s brother Amani Nzani and Kilifi based Human Rights activist challenged officials at the Mtwapa police station of fabricating a cover-up of one of their own.

“Mtwapa Police station officers have refused to cooperate. They have refused the family a chance to record any statement and now we have decided to take the matter to the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA),” said Eric Mgoja of Kilifi Social Justice Center.

According to witnesses, six officers wearing civilian clothes arrived at the stuffed Mtomondoni settlement on the peripheries of busy Mtwapa town at around 10.00 am on three unmarked motorbikes and headed straight to one of the houses where they found the deceased together with his dreadlocked friend identified as Jay.

After the introduction, the officers took Jay into his house and asked him to allow them to search his house for drugs.

In the process, Jay says they heard a single burst of gunfire originating from the neighbourhood but the officers would not allow him to go out and see what was happening.

“I would later learn that it was my friend Changawa the palm wine tapper who was shot dead. He had just visited me and brought some drumsticks and told me to prepare lunch while he went to refresh and was to return later for lunch,” Jay explained.

“He then used the knife to dislodge a bullet from the victim’s head before taking out his handkerchief which he used to wrap the bullet and put it on his rare pocket. All this time they tried to keep off residents from milling around the scene,” explained the witness who said he is now fearing for his life as the officers wanted to get hold of him after taking photos of the scene.

Another witness, Lydia Nguma Kalama said she was in the house with family when they heard a gunshot just outside their house.

“When I walked out, I was shocked to find that it was Changawa sprawling down writhing in pain as brains oozed off his skull. His life was sinking. I was so shocked and confused because I know him. I started screaming for help but the officer who I hadn’t noticed told me to keep quiet and return into the house,” explained another witness, Lydia Nguma Kalama.

The event drew an angry mob who responded by attacking the said officers with stones before torching the three motorbikes.

In the process, the officers escaped on foot with two of them allegedly hijacking a bodaboda operator and ordered him to drop him at the Mtwapa police station.

“Please I am not in the office. I have taken my child to school in Nairobi and I am in a place where I cannot talk on the phone. Contact somebody who is in the office,” Mtwapa Sub County police commander Mohammed Waqo declined to comment on the incident.

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