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Police boss accused of aiding ‘imposter’ gets his job back

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By JOSEPH OPENDA

Former Rift Valley Provincial Police Officer John M’Mbijiwe, who was recently cleared of abuse of office charges, has got his job back.

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) – through a letter dated June 17 – approved the lifting of Mr M’Mbijiwe’s interdiction imposed in 2013 following his arrest and arraignment in connection with his role in facilitating Mr Joshua Waiganjo, who was accused of masquerading as a senior police officer.

Mr M’Mbijiwe’s reinstatement comes almost a month after he was acquitted of abuse of office charges he battled for eight years.

NEW POSITION

In the letter, the NPSC further re-designated Mr M’Mbijiwe’s position from deputy commissioner of police to assistant Inspector-General of Police.

“The NPSC, vide the letter referenced NPSC/1/8/3/vol vii (25) dated June 17, 2020, approved the lifting of your interdiction with effect from January 7, 2013,” reads the letter signed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Edward Mbugua.

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Mr M’Mbijiwe and former Anti Stock Theft Unit Police Commander Remi Ngugi (who has since died) were charged with at least four counts of abuse of office.

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Mr M’Mbijiwe was said to have protected Mr Waiganjo as he allegedly masqueraded as a senior police officer and allowed him to fly in police helicopters and use official vehicles at will.

Particulars of the charge sheet indicated that he, on November 23, 2012, being a person employed by the public service as a police officer at the Provincial Offices in Nakuru, arbitrarily instructed the Officer Commanding West Pokot Police Station David Wambua to open a personal police reservist file for Mr Waiganjo to show that he was a police reservist, in what the prosecutors argued was abuse of office.

NO SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

While delivering his ruling, Resident Magistrate Joe Omido said the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against any of the three suspects to place them on their defence.

“If the accused persons were to be placed on their defence on any of the charges that they are faced with, there will be no basis upon which any of them can be convicted on any of these charges if they were to offer nothing in defence,” ruled Mr Omido.

The court declared the charges against Mr M’Mbijiwe and Mr Ngugi defective after the prosecution failed to prove that Mr Waiganjo was a fake police officer.

After the ruling, Mr M’Mbijiwe said he had been innocent all along, claiming that his enemies had framed him to see him dismissed after serving for only four months.

FORGIVEN ENEMIES

“I have forgiven my enemies, who are less than five. They framed me but God has stood with me. My testimony today will come from the book of Acts 16:16-23,” said Mr M’Mbijiwe.

For his part, Mr Waiganjo revealed plans to sue for damages following what he said was unlawful arrest and prosecution.

Speaking to the Nation a week after his acquittal, Mr Waiganjo said he is planning to take on senior officers in the police service who he claims had maliciously tried to fix him.

He said he will be seeking compensation for the illegal arrest that led to his suffering and public embarrassment for eight years.

NO DISCHARGE LETTER

Mr Waiganjo wants to have the officers involved in his arrest, including former Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere and former Independent Policing Oversight Authority chairman Johnston Kavuludi, held liable for his predicament.

“I want to know why the former deputy CID director ordered my arrest, why the arresting officers refused to testify in the case and why Mr Iteere disowned me in court,” said Mr Waiganjo.

During the hearing, Mr Iteere – who claimed Mr Waiganjo was once a police reservist before being discharged in 2004 – had an appointment letter but could not produce a discharge letter.

DIRECT CONTACT

He also denied knowing or meeting Mr Waiganjo yet other witnesses claimed he had direct contact with the then police commissioner.

The arresting officers also refused to testify in the case.

The prosecution team led by Ms Sandra Kosgey told the court that four police officers, namely Superintendent of Police Fatuma Abdi, Gideon Kimilu, Joseph Ngisa and Jonathan Napikwe, had jointly investigated the case.

National Police Service Spokesman Charles Owino and the National Police Service Commission Chairman Eliud Kinuthia did not immediately respond to our enquiries on Saturday about the reinstatement.

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Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.

“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.

“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”

With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.

There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.

Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.

Rugby Championship

There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.

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That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.

South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.

“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.

‘Seven Nations’

Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?

Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.

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England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.

Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.

Super Rugby

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Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.

The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.

Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.

South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.

‘Pro16’

Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.

“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.

But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.

While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.

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Currie Cup

The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.

First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.

But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections

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By NATION REPORTER

Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.

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Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.

The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.

Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.

Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.

Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.

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