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Juma Mwanguku could have been alive today if police bullets did not hit his heart and liver.

Doctors said the shots ripped up his heart and liver, left severe injuries that sealed his fate. Another bullet struck his palm, but it was not as dangerous.

Mwaguku suffered at least four bullet wounds. He died aged 36.

His brother made this revelation when he testified in an ongoing trial where a police officer faces a murder charge. Juma Mwakughu is the deceased’s elder brother, while David Gitahi, 58, has been charged with his murder.

The incident occurred on March 30, 2019, at Rockland club in Taveta. Gitahi has denied the offence and is out on Sh1 million cash bail and surety of a similar amount.

The trial started on March 11, 2021, at Voi High Court. Judge Erik Ogola presided over the case.

“Doctors warned me against witnessing the postmortem. They said I would be overwhelmed, but I insisted on staying because this was my brother’s body,” Juma said.

He learnt of his brother’s death from his employer. Mwanguku worked as a casual laborer.

The autopsy occurred April 2019 at Taveta Sub-county hospital. Pathologists retrieved bullets from Mwanguku’s body and found gunshot wounds on the chest, wrist, and arm. There were exit wounds on the back.

The shots got fired at close-range, pathologists said, severing Mwanguku’s heart, liver, and lungs, resulting in internal bleeding.

Janet Wanjala, the deceased’s sister. Photo: Ernest Cornel.

The deceased sister also testified. Janet Wanjala said her sister, Margret, informed her that Mwanguku had been shot and admitted at Taveta Sub-county hospital. She did not immediately know that he was dead.

“We reported the death at Taveta police station. Police told us to get a pathologist to operate the body and remove the bullets, then bury it,” Wanjala said.

Other 14 prosecution witnesses are lined-up. The hearing continues on October 7, 2021.

MUHURI is watching a brief for the deceased family.