Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Very Friendly Message to Mr. Murgor

Hon. Philip Murgor,
Director of Public Prosecutions,
Sheria House,
P.O. Box 40112,
Tel: 227461
Fax: 211082

Dear Philip:

Salamu kutoka Montreal.

How are things in Nairobi these days?

My name is Onyango Oloo.

I do not know if you remember me.

The last time I saw you in person was
on the morning of Monday, November 1, 1982 at the D Block of the Industrial Area Remand Home in Nairobi
. Remember what happened that morning? The previous night I had gotten into trouble with the night askari because we kept speaking loudly after the 9 pm curfew. Remember it was the night before my sentencing and many of us- how many students were packed in that filthy corridor, 67, 68 or 70? I can no longer remember the precise number, but I had started the ball rolling by informing you that this was finally IT- the next day I would be swung from the Remand Home to the Nairobi Law Courts to Kamiti and you folks- people like Vitisia, Sagalla, Omondi Oludhe, the Aseka brothers, Momoima Onyonka, the late Thumbi, Njuguna Mutonya, the late Mwakdua wa Mwachofi, Onyango CA, Kibisu Kabatesi, Wahinya Boore, Thomas Mutuse, Kirimaina Kimaita, Adongo Ogony, Jeff Mwangi, Ongele Opala, Kadima Osundwa, your friend and my classmate David Mambo, Ciira Wabere, David Murathe and so many other people- you all made things lighter for me by encouraging me to remain strong and steadfast… Then in the morning as I was preparing to go to court KABOOM! There was Officer Muraya and his squad, and remember how I was almost clobbered- only spared because the askaris did not want to see me showing up in court, hobbling, bloodied and bruised. Partly because of that collective pep talk, I was surprised that I was not even afraid of Muraya's threats to have me beaten up. Later on I was told by David Murathe (or somebody else from those ’82 arrests who was picked up again and joined us at Kamiti in 1986 during the Mwakenya Crackdown) that all hell broke loose that morning, that all of you guys were immediately transferred and scattered out of Block D with people like Adongo ending up in the notorious G Block with the hard core wazimu and capital offences remandees.

So where is your pal Mambo these days? I always wonder about the 1982 Industrial Area D Block student inmates because we did share a macabre experience together. It is interesting how things turned out- there you are today as the DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions! Hebu Imagine! Don’t you find that sort of ironic? Did you know that the late JJ Ouma who had been a second year engineering student but had always been a Special Branch informer, immediately dropped out of U of N and went to Kiganjo Kenya Police College where he signed up for official police training? I am not sure if this is true, but I did hear from the grapevine that his own demise came after he was mixed up in that whole Ouko mess- JJ was from Hezekiah Oyugi’s neck of the woods, so I hear.

Philip, believe it or not, I did not take this time to communicate with you in order to chit chat while idly reminiscing about the bad old Industrial Area days.

I am writing to you because I am EXTREMELY pissed off at YOU personally and your boss, Amos Wako.

I mean, Philip, are you out to lunch or something?

Have you guys at Sheria House lost your freaking minds or what?

C’mon, it is getting pretty brazen and blatant.

Can’t you at least PRETEND that there is an ATTEMPT at securing even the slightest modicum of justice?

A couple of hours ago, I came across this Reuters news dispatch that quotes the Attorney General as saying:

"If I was to charge (Cholmondeley) with murder just because the public, media and everybody wants me to, even if there is no evidence, I would be failing the people of this country."

And the following newspaper account reproduces what YOU, Philip Murgor, allegedly blurted out, without a hint of shame, in a telephone interview carried by the May 21st edition of the East African Standard:

Lord Delamere's grandson can neither be charged with murder nor manslaughter even after an inquest, the Director of Public Prosecutions said yesterday.
Mr Philip Murgor said a murder charge would never be sustained because Thomas Patrick Gilbert Cholmondeley did not have "malice aforethought" when he killed Samson Sisina. "Cholmondeley is a law enforcement officer and is licensed to carry a gun to protect himself against attack and any danger posed by human beings and wild animals at his property. Law enforcement officers kill everyday in the course of duty and we do not charge them with murder or manslaughter," said Murgor.

In a telephone interview, the DPP said it would be absurd if persons licensed to carry guns did not use them when their life was in danger.

He said a manslaughter charge against Cholmondeley would not hold because "this is a case where the killing occurred in self-defence. Manslaughter refers to a situation where you do not intend to kill someone but end up killing him or her. In this case and, based on the evidence so far, Cholmondley killed after he was attacked."

The DDP said statements to police indicated that a bullet was fired from the gun of the deceased and that it was Sisina who fired first.

Murgor said Cholmondley would only be charged in a court of law if the public inquest finds that an offence was committed.

The DDP said the attorney-general ordered a public inquest because the evidence did not disclose any offence known in law.

Murgor said statements of witnesses said Cholmondley killed Sisina in self-defence and in the belief that he was a robber.

The inquest, to be presided over by a Nakuru magistrate, would be expected to gather evidence to ascertain whether or not an offence was committed.

The DDP said it was a misnomer for anyone to think that the inquest is to gather evidence to support a charge of manslaughter against Cholmondley.

However, Murgor said the AG's office would abide by the inquest findings and recommendations and "as is the practice, order for further investigations if necessary".

The DPP defended the A-G against allegations that he had moved with unprecedented speed to terminate the case.

"This is a case where the police sidestepped the A-G's office and took the matter to court. The police tricked the State Counsel in Nakuru to sign the charge sheet. When we later looked at the evidence to be relied on in prosecution of the case, we found it not satisfactory. We had to terminate the case," said Murgor.

Is Wako for REAL?

How about you, Philip Murgor?

Is your head still firmly attached to your trunk?

Like I told someone else online not too long ago, I do not know what you folks have been chomping on, or more likely smoking, because whatever it is, it has whacked the rational portions of your brains to smithereens, and I can only wish both of you a speedy recovery so that you regain full use of your mental faculties if that is indeed the case.

Mr Murgor, being a lawyer who has practiced in the profession privately and publicly for a number of years now, I am pretty sure you are familiar with the concept of sub judice, a concept that frowns upon the public commentary on a legal matter that is yet to be determined.

Yes, I know that you had “determined” the outcome of Thomas Delamare’s murder charge, by TERMINATING those charges, so in a manner of speaking you cannot be technically blamed for violating the sub judice rule because as you said in as many words, the Kenya government has pretty much guaranteed the members of that billionaire land owning settler clan that their sole heir can leisurely look forward to the day he inherits the debts, demerits, insider connections and of course the wealth of the fabled/notorious Delamare family.

On the other hand, the BRILLIANT idea of convening a consolation “public inquest” came from Sheria House.

Why on earth, then, did you, Philip Murgor feel COMPELLED to say things like:

"The manslaughter charge cannot hold because this is a case where the killing occurred in self-defence. Manslaughter refers to a situation where you do not intend to kill someone but end up killing him or her. In this case and, based on the evidence so far, Cholmondley killed after he was attacked."

Apparently, Mr Murgor, the arresting and investigating police officers who had the chap arraigned on first degree murder charges had a different opinion from the one you express so irresponsibly in an interview with one of Kenya’s two leading dailies.

So what will be the point of the so called “public inquest” if the second most senior person at Sheria House has rushed to the defence of young Thomas?

Philip Murgor, I am pretty sure you have seen, heard or read of the national and international outrage that greeted your controversial decision to unleash the aristocratic bird before the Sisina family had their day in court.

This reaction from the Kenya Human Rights Commission is among the most restrained and polite.

When you get a chance, go online and check out my dramatic sketch for a second trial of the so called “Lord”.

In any case, Philip, I personally do not think you have ANY CREDIBILITY left when it comes to the pursuit of justice.

Do you remember what you told Mrs. Margaret Mbai, the widow of Dr. Odhiambo Mbai on Tuesday, February 2, 2004?

Let me refresh your memory by quoting from a section of your response to Mrs. Mbai:

"I urge you to forward any additional, relevant evidence on the death either to myself or to the director of criminal investigations. This is to further assure you that the Attorney-General will consider these in determining the issue of any prosecution."

Remember that little letter, Philip Murgor?

What ended up happening to the leading suspects in the Mbai case?

Did Margaret Mbai ever get justice?

Does the Kenya government know the identities of the people who killed her husband? Will she ever get closure?

This is what millions of Kenyans know:

Another group of high profile killers got off scot free.

Did your office ever pursue those leads printed in the Standard that identified the shooter and his Tanzanian hideout?

Did you take seriously the testimonies that fingered NARC Chief Whip Norman Nyagah as the mastermind who bankrolled the hit on Dr Odhiambo?

Of course you did No Such Thing.

For their pains in bringing the truth about Mbai’s death to the public domain, your office targeted David Makali, a widely respected news editor and a police officer who seems to have committed the late Sisina’s crime- doing one’s job in terms of investigating criminal activities by the high and mighty.

Dr. Odhiambo Mbai who some of us knew, is today lying lifeless in a grave somewhere in Nyanza province while his youthful assassins are probably boasting non-chalantly how they literally got away with murder.

From the look of things, it would appear that you, Philip Murgor, would earn tons of money advising other public prosecutors around the world on how to lose open and shut cases of plain, capital murder especially when the chief suspects are rich and/or well connected.

And speaking of the police and their methods of investigation, let me be the first to underscore my horror at their often rotten methods that has left many dead, maimed and psychologically scarred. So I will not romanticize the Kenyan detective profession.

What is absolutely BIZARRE about Amos Wako is that today he can say:

"If I was to charge Cholmondeley with murder just because the public, media and everybody wants me to, even if there is no evidence, I would be failing the people of this country."

Philip Murgor:

Please excuse me while


Why did I just throw up?

It is because I cannot believe that someone like Wako who has never seen a political thug that he cannot defend or protect is today posing and posturing as someone with even the tiniest traces of ethical probity.

Philip, turning to you again, sometimes I am not sure if you ever did the paradigm shift changeover from Central Bank of Kenya lawyer to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In the remote possibility that you did, can you then give me the 411 on when the following cases of state thuggery against ordinary Kenyan wananchi will be investigated and the rogue cops brought to justice?

Will Nicholas Biwott ever be tried for the murder of Robert Ouko?

Will James Opiyo ever be tried for torturing the so called dissidents at Nyayo House?Will the father of your nemesis ever be prosecuted for Goldenberg and its aftermath?

Will Omar Masumbuko and other associates of the late Karisa Maitha be made to account for the roles in the infamous Likoni Massacre?

While you ponder these questions, I will pause here and await your response.

By the way, with all the money the Kenyan tax payers are pouring into Sheria House, surely Philip, how come you guys cannot afford even an El Cheapo web based OFFICIAL email address?

Onyango Oloo


john said...

o.o you seem to find all my classmates!philip murgor was in lenana with dave mambo one year a head of me.and amos wako is my neighbor in langata till this day .as you know,murgor is fired.i thought it would come soon as he was mois man.his father was mp murgor back in the must in fairness recognise the political nature of his job .who pulls the strings?

Unknown said...

Such a shame about Wako! Would you believe he is the same guy who was once the UN Special Rappoteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitary Executions saying things like
"I am urged to emphasize that the right to life is a most fundamental and crucial human right."

He also cannot claim to be ignorant of the "Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials" a UN document which was promulgated during his time. Which is probably why he dared not follow Phillip's line of reasoning. The Principles clearly state that "Law Enforcement Officials provides that law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty" and that "Governments shall ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offence under their law". I could cite a whole lot of rights provisions being violated here.

Its a pity that Phillip and the Honourable AG decide to use the rights discourse selectively in this regard; its stuff like this that gives human rights a bad name.The fundamental guarantees of fair trial are essential including the right to remain innocent until proven guilty. However, justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done. The AG's must not be seen to be partial or to be giving certain people preferential treatment when it comes to according justice. Justice is supposed to be blind, after all...

karoki said...

Onyango Oloo...first let me say that anyone who was detained in 82 and lived to tell it deserves some respect. thankyou for attempting to bring uhuru.

secondly, your letter to Mr.Murgor certainly reveales a lot about how power and money can make a person betray views that he was once prepared to die for

Tom Mutuse said...

Onyango,am quite impressed by your unwavering struggle where your motherland is concerned.I have been unable to understand of what becomes of our comrades in arms once they get near the house on the hill.Many of those you met in Inda remand prison and Kamiti have had dramatic changes to love the system that even now has never recognised the true heroes of the freedom struggle.The second liberation has bred turncoats. Brace up for the true peoples liberation.
Thomas Mutuse

Anonymous said...

This message by Oloo, has just been brought to my attention. It is hoped that he is keeping well with improved fortunes in his endeavors.

It is a real pity when educated people like Oloo purport to express opinion and pass judgement in total ignorance of existing facts. Public Prosecution is not based on popular or political opinion, but on credible and admissible evidence. Oloo is ignorant of the fact that the then reform government mandated Murgor as Director of public Prosecuton was to reform public prosecutions in Kenya.During his two years, as DPP he instituted various far reaching reforms including initiating the creation of a national prosecution policy, code of conduct for prosecutors but was unsuccessful in his quest to kick out the police from conducting prosecutions and fully professionalize public prosecutions. Who knows, if Murgor was DPP, when Oloo was prosecuted, he may have taken a view against the prosecution and stood up for his decision despite the political pressure or the prevailing "mob justice" of the day. Cholemondely or any other person, cannot be guilty simply because Oloo and the mob say so.Fortunately, apart from his bitter tirade, Oloo does not offer any evidence or facts to support his baseless allegations for a what comes out as total nonsense and which looks more like juvenile envy/jealousy for the success of a person who he hardly knew in college, but who has been more successful than him, despite the adversity they both faced.

Finally, most of the individuals he names as being his cellmates or jailmates have positively benefited from the experience to be successful leaders and productive opinion shapers in Kenya. Amongst those held in custody during the same period as Oloo and Murgor are Kenya's current Prime Minister, ministers, CEO's etc.

Why did Oloo, who should now be approaching 50 years, give up on his country, and relocate to a distant land where he spends his time on useless blogs insulting his contemporaries.It is never to late to get a life!!

Ogola said...

Bravo, well said. Who is this Oloo guy anyway. He should get a life apart from trying to be relevant on his laptop in a far off land. People like Murgor have stayed in this country despite threats to his life over the Goldenberg Scandal as lawyer of CBK appointed to recover the looted billions and despite the resistance to reform, have made their contribution to the country's development.For Oloo's information, in the two years that Murgor was DPP, the back of impunity in Kenya was broken and it should be recalled that numerous cases went to court involving the high and mighty.

daily nation 27 may 2005 said...

Attorney General Amos Wako yesterday determinedly stood by Mr Philip Murgor, a day after the director of public prosecutions was sacked. Mr Wako said he did not regret his decision to dismiss the murder charge against Mr Tom Cholmodeley, the son of Lord Delamere, but added that he did regret Mr Murgors dismissal. "He was one of the best prosecutors l have ever worked with. He is aggressive and thats the way prosecutors should be," Mr Wako said.

The AG was also adamant that he had taken the right decision to dismiss the murder charge. "There are facts that are not clear in the file. If the inquest shows evidence that can sustain the case, I will not hesitate to prosecute Mr Cholmondeley," the AG added. And Mr Murgors replacement as DPP, Mr Keriako Tobiko, took office with guarded optimism and a promise to apply the law fairly to all. "I have no doubt that its very challenging but I believe that I will be able to face up to the challenge. I understand that I work under the direction of the AG," he said.

He went on: "We will apply the law and give justice to all, irrespective of their race, colour or creed. I know that I have come in when there are sensitive and delicate matters. I promise to give my honest, objective opinion on all matters." Mr Wako commented: "Im sure Mr Tobiko is aware of the challenges. In other countries, the DPP enjoys security of tenure because of the challenges that have to be faced. The proposals to give the DPP security of tenure are contained in the draft Constitution," Mr Wako said. The AG refused to be drawn further into the debate on Mr Murgors sacking, however. His dismissal came in the wake of a public outcry against the AGs decision to terminate the murder case brought against Mr Cholmondeley following the killing of Kenya Wildlife Service ranger Samson Ole Sisina.

His decision was delivered to the Nakuru court where Mr Cholmondeley was arraigned by Mr Murgor. Mr Wako said that should an inquest into the rangers death prove that there is enough evidence to reinstate the murder charge then he would not hesitate to reinstate the initial proceedings. "It is the prerogative of the President and he has the powers to appoint and terminate. I dont want to speculate. In the office of the Attorney-General we deal with hard facts probable in a court of law. I dont know the reasons for the sacking. You can go and ask that from the President," he said.

Mr Wako would not comment either on Mr Murgors stated belief that he lost his job because, among other reasons, of the position he had taken on the handling of case involving a Sh6 billion haul of cocaine. Mr Murgor said he was unhappy with the way in which the case had been investigated as well as the handling of the drug haul itself; the biggest ever recovered in the countrys history. He was also concerned with the long time being taken to test the drugs. Mr Wako spoke in his office when he met Mr Tobiko. Present was the Solicitor General Mr Wanjuki Muchemi.

East African Standard 27th may 2005 said...

Sacked Director of Public Prosecutions Philip Murgor yesterday named seven prominent people he says tried to influence a Sh6.4 billion cocaine case that may have caused his dismissal on Wednesday.

They include a Cabinet minister, a politician and senior lawyers. Murgor also named police officers he believes are interfering with the investigation, prosecution and disposal of the high stakes drug consignment seized almost simultaneously in Mombasa and Nairobi late last year.

In an interview with The Standard, Murgor said that hours before he was sacked, he met with Office of the President Assistant minister Mirugi Kariuki and named the high profile personalities.

When his phone rang later that evening as he headed for a talk show at a local TV station, it was Attorney-General Amos Wako informing him that changes had been made at the department of prosecutions. "I'd just been sacked," he said.

"Shortly before I entered the TV station, I met Mirugi. When I asked him for an explanation regarding my removal from office, he looked equally surprised." The Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Francis Muthaura, says Murgor, communicated the news of the changes at the DPP to Wako. There were no details. "Only that I had been removed and that Keriako Tobiko had been appointed to replace me."

Yesterday, Mirugi could not be reached to comment on the matter. But his personal assistant, Mr Andrew Nyabuto, confirmed the assistant minister and Murgor had met. However, he said his boss had no role in Murgor's sacking, saying Mirugi had been a long-term family friend to the Murgors and had represented the former prosecutor's father-in-law in court several times.

Murgor insisted that he was not a casualty of the Delamere grandson saga that has degenerated into a controversy. Mr Tom Cholmondley, who had been charged with the murder of Kenya Wildlife Service warden, Samson ole Sisina, was freed after the State terminated the charge.

He said he was a victim of a well-choreographed scheme developed over time to remove him from office. Since January, he said, he had been operating on borrowed time. "The sacking didn't surprise me. On the contrary, I must say I'm very relieved it finally happened." Yesterday, Murgor spoke of what he termed frosty relations with his counterpart, Solicitor-General Wanjuki Muchemi, as well as a state-of-the-art office without telephone links, massive rent arrears and a shoestring budget that followed the suspension of Usaid funding for the operations of the DPP's office.

He also says he refused to play ball with people he described as extortionists, who he claims tried to use the prosecution machinery against members of the former Kanu regime.