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Kenya: Authorities Hunt For Stolen State Presidential Car   
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Kenya’s top detectives are on the trail of a gang that carjacked a police officer linked to State House identified as David Machui in Ruai, Nairobi, on Wednesday night.

The Standard established that Machui is an inspector of police, but State House clarified that the vehicle was not in the official Presidential Escort pool.

“We are aware of the incident involving a State vehicle. It was not one of the presidential cars,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta’s spokesman Manoah Esipisu in a text message to The Standard yesterday.

Special police teams were combing the city and its environs to recover the high-end luxury limousine said to be an armoured BMW and apprehend the suspects.

The massive operation involving officers from the Special Crime Prevention Unit and the Flying Squad was underway yesterday. Nairobi police boss Benson Kibue said his officers were informed that the car belongs to State House.

Kibue said the first report on the incident was made by Machui, who told Ruai police that the missing vehicle belonged to State House. “We are looking for the car and those behind its disappearance and we are making good progress so far,” said Kibue.

The President was driven to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport earlier on Wednesday for his flight to Mombasa where he addressed a regional police chiefs’ meeting, and thereafter in the evening opened a Huduma Centre in Mombasa town.

The official report indicated that Machui was attacked by three gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles as he drove to his home in Ruai. The hunt for the vehicle and the suspects began on Wednesday night and continued yesterday.

Senior police officers were tight-lipped on the recovery progress but detectives involved in the operation, and who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the last signal was picked yesterday at 2am in Muguga along the Naivasha-Nairobi highway.

Kibue said the driver told them he was ambushed as he drove through a stretch from Ruai town towards the police lines where he lives. Police are puzzled at the decision by the attackers to target the German-made vehicle as carjackers prefer Japanese models because of their quick resale value.

The President has a variety of vehicles at his disposal and dozens of specially-trained officers from the Recce Unit to guard him. His drivers and those of his immediate family are picked from this pool and are trained to handle VIPs.

The attack highlights how daring criminals have become and the worrying levels of insecurity. In March, this year, President Uhuru’s kin was carjacked and robbed of cash and valuables before being abandoned on a road in Nairobi.

Mrs Jean Njeri Muhoho, 56, an aunt of the President, was attacked along Uhuru Highway by three gunmen who drove her around the city for more than two hours before abandoning her on the Northern bypass near the International School in Gigiri.

The car was found abandoned in Westlands two days later. Police said she told them she was in a traffic jam at the University Way/Uhuru Highway roundabout when the gunmen forced their way into the car. She lost Sh20,000, her bank ATM card, driving licence, shoes and an Uchumi loyalty card.

An aide of Deputy President William Ruto was also recently carjacked along State House Road and abandoned in Mlolongo, Machakos County. On Wednesday, three suspected thugs were shot dead by police outside Java in Gigiri along Limuru Road, Nairobi, and two pistols with nine bullets and handcuffs found on them.

They were killed near US and Canadian embassies and UN headquarters in Gigiri.

Witnesses said because of the Westgate terror attack, the premises were hurriedly closed out of fear that it was another attack. Customers in the busy Java Coffee House and attendants at the petrol station scampered for safety as officers from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit responded to the incident.

Source: Standard Media

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