The manhunt for Kenya’s “man of the hour” Wazir Benson Chacha was a really hard task, detectives have revealed.
The 25-year-old, who has been using the name Jamal Chacha Mwita since he was declared wanted, was arrested at the prestigious PKM Inn in Tarime, located 20 kilometers from the Kenyan border.
Chacha is said to have booked an overnight bus to Migori on the same day a wanted poster was published in the newspapers. This was on Friday, March 23, a day after the Director of Criminal Investigations, George Kinoti, appeared before the National Assembly Security Committee to explain why police had not arrested Mr Chacha for obtaining money from MPs by falsely pretending to be Muranga Woman Rep Sabina Chege.
In the poster, Kinoti was offering a Sh20,000 award to whoever would volunteer information leading to his arrest, as he could not be traced. His telephone number and the one he had registered under Ms Chege’s name were all switched off.
Chacha, after arriving in Migori, then took a taxi to Masaba to the house of former Kehancha Mayor Chacha Masubo who is his father.
“A day before he arrived, police officers had visited the home and, when he was informed, he went to his sister’s house in Kehancha. And this is when he briefly switched on his phone, signaling to the detectives about his whereabouts,” an officer attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said.
And as detectives sprung their trap on Sunday, March 25, Chacha moved from Kehancha and, by the time detectives traced his sister’s house a day later, he had left.
“We traced the signal again to Isebania but the phone was on only for five minutes. We had an idea that he was going into Tanzania and so we moved there and informed the authorities there,” an officer who helped trace the suspect said.
Fortunately for the detectives, they acquired a telephone from a relative who had helped Chacha make a call to Tanzania. The call was made to the PKM Inn in Tarime.
“We suspected that he was there. It was a really hard task trying to locate this man. We had to interrogate several people to try and locate him. He was very careful not to leave any clue that would help us locate him,” the detective said.
The officers then booked a room at the PKM Inn after realising that Chacha was a guest there. They then monitored his moves for three days, getting to know his new number, the people he met, and the calls he made.
“On Thursday, March 29, Mr Chacha received some money through a money transfer company from someone in Dubai and the next morning, he booked a bus from Tarime to Dar es Salaam. He was then to travel to Zanzibar on Sunday,” the officer said, adding that he was booked in a Zanzibar hotel as Jamal Hussein Mwita.
He was arrested on Friday evening and detectives found on him two sim cards, the sim card plate for the phone registered under Sabina Chege, a phone, several travel documents, his Identity Card with the name Waziri Benson Masubo issued in 2016 and a notebook.
The ID card indicates that he was born in December 12, 1994 in Masaba.
Police also said that their investigations revealed that Chacha had sent several emails to bloggers, attaching emailed WhatsApp conversations with a number of female MPs. The emails also contain several pictures and videos.
“The conversations indicate that he had been communicating with several of them, and he even travelled with some of them to South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania and Dubai,” an officer said.
The detectives also suspect he is the administrator of a page in social platform Telegram, where nude pictures are shared.