Kitui Pastor Gunned Down During Robbery With Fellow Churchman

April 8, 2024

Police in Kitui shot and killed a pastor during a robbery with violence incident at Kavisuni market in Kisasi district.

The pastor was allegedly part of a gang that raided a wholesale shop belonging to Muli Munyoki last week and robbed him at gunpoint.

According to the shop owner, the robbers, posing as police officers, confronted him after he had closed, claiming they were investigating a case of stolen goods suspected to be sold in his shop.

“They presented themselves as police officers from Kitui Police Station tracking stolen goods and demanded to check my stock. Once inside the shop, they drew guns and ordered me and the night guard to lie down,” said Mr. Munyoki.

Allegedly, the robbers stole Kes.5,000 in cash from the trader and forced him to surrender his mobile phone, while they ransacked the shop for valuables and additional cash.

Amidst the commotion, police officers from the nearby Kavisuni police post were alerted and rushed to Mr. Munyoki’s shop. They found the robbers exiting while still holding the trader by his shirt collars.

Police reported that officers instructed them to surrender, but instead, they brandished guns and attempted to escape on a motorcycle.

The crimebusters opened fire, resulting in the pastor’s death, while his accomplice fled into the darkness with gunshot wounds on his left hand.

Reports indicate that the robbers operated two churches in the Matinyani area of Kitui West. The slain pastor, identified as Ezekiel Muinde Mwangangi, preached at the Heaven City Chapel based in the Soweto area while also overseeing a new branch at Kauma Market, located around five kilometers away.

Preliminary investigations revealed that on a fateful day, the two suspects hired a motorcycle with registration number KMDG 118K from a friend at Katyethoka market. They pretended that they needed to transport their church music system to an open crusade within the municipality.

However, they diverted from their stated destination and proceeded to commit robbery with violence at Kavisuni market, approximately 40 kilometers away.

According to Kitui County Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Eng Samuel Bett, the police officers were unaware that the robbers were masquerading as pastors.

“The information about the robber being a pastor emerged later after his body had been taken to the mortuary,” the DCI boss said as quoted by the Nation.

The pastor was found in possession of a toy pistol, a sharp double-edged dagger, and a fake police radio communication device. Meanwhile, his accomplice is suspected to be armed with a real firearm.

Bett confirmed that detectives have questioned several individuals, including the owner of the motorcycle used by the robbers, while other members of the public have provided crucial information voluntarily.

Kalimani location Chief Cyrus Kitwai Malombe confirmed that Pastor Ezekiel Muinde was part of the leadership of the Soweto church.

Mr. Malombe, upon receiving the information, visited the church and confirmed that the deceased robber was indeed their pastor. He was an active leader in praise and worship sessions, where he played and taught other worshippers how to play the piano.

“The community around was shocked that a pastor they knew was not only involved in a robbery with violence but also killed in a shootout with police,” the Chief said.

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