A fascinating and yet gruesome crime took place about 12 days ago in a Nairobi high rise building.
A cleaning woman, 25 year old Rachel Aoko Okello who worked at the NSSF building in the community area was sent to the ATM to withdraw cash for one of her bosses. That was the last time she was seen alive. Initially her colleagues were puzzled because the money she was sent for was not the kind of amount that would tempt anybody to do “G4S disappearing act.” Their faith in their colleague was confirmed 9 long days later when her decomposing body was found in the registry of the same NSSF building.
What is puzzling police even more is that initial indications are that some kind of chemical was used to muffle the smell of the decomposing body. The obvious idea seems to have been to delay the discovery of the body. Rachel was raped before she was murdered. Even more baffling in this case is that police have evidence obtained from the scene of the crime that suggests the victims’ assailant revisited the corpse several times in the 9 days before it was discovered.
About two months ago the body of yet another young woman was found dumped on a footpath next to a house that most neighbors believed hosted regular sex orgies for the rich and powerful of Nairobi.
The chances of these two crimes ever being solved are slim. And the sad thing is that there are many more young lives being snuffed out in Kenya (and especially in Nairobi) these days which never attract the attention of the press and thus go unreported. Dozens have been brought to my attention.
The truth of the matter is that even as we retain leaders and people in decision-making positions from another very different age who still believe in old solutions for new problems, crime has escalated to a very high level in Kenya. It is probably being fueled by plenty of serious drugs easily available and desperation amongst many young people, we can also not rule out the influx of all kinds of DVD movies very cheaply available at 50 bob a pop that promote all kinds of cultures as well as giving all kinds of sick ideas to minds hungry for those sick ideas.
The result is that our police force is already terribly overwhelmed.
It is fairly easy to criticize the Kenya police for their crime-solving methods but admittedly the lack a lot of the tools required for modern-day crime-fighting is one major impediment.
A few years back I talked to a source very close to the CID department who assured me that despite their bad reputation the truth is that the CID always got their man and a very high percentage of the crimes that came to their attention were always solved. He quickly added that I should not ask for details on the methods they employed. Although I thought I had a pretty good idea of the methods he was talking about I prodded him to tell me more and what he revealed almost made me pass out in shock. He told me that the CID did not just torture suspects carelessly; he said that they regularly consulted some top notch witchdoctor and were thus able to very accurately recreate exactly how a crime was committed. I tried unsuccessfully not to burst out laughing loudly.
I don’t think that a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory is enough to change the crime-fighting ways of our cops. The archaic laws of our country will not accommodate scientific evidence too well. After all audio tape recordings are still not admissible in our courts as evidence. These are some of the things our COEs would have had time to look at in an ordinary sane country, but alas, we have been too busy dealing with the powers of the executive and devolved government to spare any thought to creating a new constitution where fighting the rapidly increasing crime rate will be easier. And so as badly as our cops are doing, I guess they are on their own.
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