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3 relatives in court over theft of Sh50m from Thika Bank

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Three relatives suspected to be behind the theft of Sh50 million from the Thika KCB Bank branch last week have been charged in court even as details of their arrest and recovery of part of the cash remained a mystery.

Thieves accessed the bank’s strong room after digging an underground tunnel a week ago and made away with the money.

The three suspects, Halford Munene Murakaru, 32, his brother Charles Mwangi Murakaru, 30, and their cousin, Julius Ndungu Wainaina, 30, were arrested on Saturday at Marurui in Kasarani, Nairobi, following a tip off to the police.

The suspects, who appeared emotionless, were Monday charged with breaking into the bank and stealing money as well as handling stolen money after they were linked to an estimated Sh20 million that was recovered from a rented residential house in Juja on the same day they were arrested.

According to the charge sheet, on diverse days between November 18 and 20, the three, jointly with others not in court, broke and entered the bank through an underground tunnel and stole Sh52.65 million.

They denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Teresia Murigi, who remanded them until November 30 when a determination on whether they will be released on bond will be made.

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This was after the prosecution, led by State Counsel Stella Oyagi, successfully applied to have them detained on grounds that they were likely to interfere with the case if released and that they were likely to flee.

Ms Oyagi said reliable reports indicated that before their arrest, they were planning to leave the country.

Mr Samuel N’gan’ga, who is the bank’s branch manager, has been listed as one of the witnesses in the case.

GRADUATES

Mr Munene is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology while Mr Ndung’u graduated with a degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Nairobi.

Mr Mwangi declined to disclose to the police the university he went to, although he is a holder of a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, and, together with his brother, they are reported to have studied at Nyeri High School where they scored As.

Police said the three were behind the leasing of a stall in a commercial premises next to the bank, ostensibly to run a bookshop, although there is a mastermind and the officers said they are following leads that will lead to his arrest.

Thika police boss Willy Simba and the region’s head of criminal investigations Mr Linus Owango declined to give the exact circumstances of the arrest of the three suspects and the subsequent recovery of the money, only saying that the suspects led them to where the money was hidden.

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According to Mr Simba, the suspects, who in the entire court process managed to hide their faces, had rented a house in Marurui estate which is in Kasarani division.

NEIGHBOURS

Neighbours who became suspicious of them notified the police and after being interrogated, the suspects led them to the Juja house where they found the cash stuffed in plastic tanks.

However, Mr Simba declined to reveal what made the neighbours in Marurui suspicious.

He also did not reveal their connection with a women who is reported to have rented the house where the money was found.

On his part Mr Owango, said the money and the suspects were found in both Juja and Marurui although the latter did not appear in the charge sheet.

The suspect’s lawyer, Zacy Opiyo, while applying for bond, told the court that he was informed that the suspects were arrested in a house in Thika.

The landlord of the house where the money was recovered told Nation that last week, a lady approached the caretaker with the intention of renting one of the units and brought some of the items which may have included the money into the house.

The arrest of the three brings to five the number of suspects arrested in connection with the heist.

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The caretaker and the custodian of the keys to the commercial premises where the suspects had leased a stall were arrested and arraigned in court last week and the police were allowed to continue detaining them to facilitate investigations.

-nation.co.ke


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LET’S HOLD HANDS WITH OPTIVEN FOUNDATION

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By helping someone achieve their dream,
You are well on your way to achieving your own dream!

Together with partners like you, the Optiven Foundation is changing one life at a time, by reaching the most vulnerable and meeting their needs. Because the needs are growing daily, we are open to hold hands with you and make our world a better place. Make your donation to Optiven Foundation via Paybill 898 630, Account name: Mobility

For more info, call us on +254 718 77 60 33 or info@optivenfoundation.org
www.optivenfoundation.org
#TransformingLives
#RestoringDignityof Senior citizens
#SharingHopewithOptiven


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By going the solar route, I save Sh140,000 per month, says restaurateur

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Kenya Power was in the news recently complaining that their clients are increasingly transitioning to use of solar energy.

Solar has emerged as a favourite source of power to many homeowners due to its reliability and low cost compared to electricity.

But that is not limited to homes as businesses are also embracing solar energy.

One such business is the new Café Deli branch along Koinange Street.

When the restaurant relocated from Kenyatta Avenue in September, Mr Obado Obadoh, the Managing Director and founder of Nanjala Ltd –the parent company that owns the chain of restaurants — says he wanted to have glass roofing at his new establishment.

This, however, came with its challenges and the option turned out to be expensive since, apart from the glass roofing, they would need ultraviolet (UV) light protectors.

For humans, suntan and sunburn are familiar effects of exposure of the skin to UV light, along with an increased risk of skin cancer.

Solar panels are installed at New Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi in this file photo.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

But, after consultations with experts, Mr Obado settled for solar panels.

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“When we were designing the Koinange Street branch, we had experts come in and give their opinions. With the Covid-19 situation, we were also looking for ways to cut costs. With solar, we spent less money than all the other available options,” Mr Obado told the Nation.

“When the costing was done by the quantity surveyor, it came down to almost half of what we would have spent on putting up the glass roof.”

Savings important

 

To Mr Obado, saving even a shilling means a lot and so solar was the welcome option.

“At the Kenyatta Avenue (branch), the cost of electricity per month was between Sh250,000 and Sh280,000. Based on the plan we have, we will use Kenya Power as a backup. This means we will save close to Sh140,000 which is half of what we used to pay before,” he said.

 Mr Omondi Lumbe, the electrical contractor who was in charge of the project, says he installed 96 panels on the roof that coves 250 square meters.

“The panels produce close to 33 kilowatts per hour and are in use for eight hours a day, hence produce close to 264 kilowatts daily,” said Mr Lumbe, who is a partner at Kev & Lum Construction and Electrical Company Ltd.

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Solar panels are installed at New Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi in this file photo.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

To avoid more spending, they opted to use solar power directly instead of using batteries to store more energy.

Today, Café Deli only relies on Kenya Power services for between three and four hours, which is mostly at night when the solar panels are off.

“We are only using Kenya Power at night for three to four hours. That means solar power will be used for most of our 12 hours,” Mr Obado said.

He also has plans to install the solar panels at his other branches on Moi Avenue and Nkurumah Lane, Behind Kencom in Nairobi’s Central Business District.

Business effects

 

This is, however, not the first time the businessman is opting to go the solar power route.

Six years ago, when he wanted to install electricity at his rural home in Busia, he says he was slapped with a quotation of Sh800,000.

“I thought about it and wondered why I would pay such a high figure, buy a transformer which is going to be Kenya Power’s property, and still pay them every month. I settled for solar panels and it’s a decision I don’t regret,” he said.

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According to Mr Obado, the high cost of power in Kenya has rendered businesses uncompetitive compared to other countries in East Africa.

The new Cafe Deli along Koinange Street in Nairobi, which uses solar energy.

Amina Wako | Nation Media Group

Café Deli has joined several companies, universities and factories that have turned to solar power  and, in the process, cut operational costs.

This, according to Kenya Power, has dealt a blow to their already dwindling finances.

“The company operated in a challenging environment over the financial year under review, where demand growth at 3.7 per cent remained below the projected level of five per cent. The dampened demand growth is further compounded by increased threats of grid defection by the industrial category as decentralised renewable energy options are becoming more available and cheaper,” Kenya Power revealed in its latest annual report.


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GoGreenNaOptiven KAMATA 20K PAP!

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The year 2020 has stretched us in many ways! It has thrown to us numerous twists and turns, while offering us a number of highs and many lows.

But as the year ends, we would love to give you, your family and your loved ones a big smile, especially on these last days of the year with our special December offer, #GoGreenNaOptiven

With a deposit of 500k plus, you can take advantage of this incredible offer this holiday season!

With ready titles, value additions, and ready to build Environment, you can actualize your dream of property ownership.

Call us TODAY on 0723 400 500 or visit our website on www.optiven.co.ke

As Optiven, We wish you and your family a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year ahead🎄


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Special Offer: Own one starting at Ksh 3.7M


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