The Kiambu court has ordered that nine senior Kenya Power employees detained on Tuesday will remain in custody for an additional eight days while investigators complete their probe into the countrywide power outages experienced last week.
The suspects appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Boaz Ombewa on Wednesday, who ordered that they be held at Muthaiga Police Station until January 26, when the case will be mentioned.
The suspects, who the prosecution wanted detained for 21 days, are: Raphael Ndolo, Peter Musyoki, Martin Musyoki, Anthony Gathii, Joshua Wasakha, Julis Karani, George Kipkoech, Geoffrey Kipkirui and David Kamau.
“I have considered the submissions made in court by both parties and I am convinced by the prosecution team’s submissions that they need more time to conclude the investigation,” Magistrate Ombewa.
“The respondents be detained for eight days at Muthaiga Police station and come back on January 26 for mention.”
Magistrate Ombewa heard that the nine suspects’ unwillingness to act on a December 9, 2021 tip-off regarding the destruction of power lines led to the nationwide blackout.
“While the power outage was due to laxity, I regret that the matter has been turned into an act of economic sabotage,” said Danstan Omari, a lawyer for one of the persons accused of causing the power failure.
“This is not the first time power blackout has been witnessed in the country. This is a mere negligence matter, but the State has decided to engage in a public relations exercise to incite Kenyans that these are terrorists by accusing them with economic sabotage,” lawyer Omari said.
The defense team for the accused persons earlier asked that they be released on bail, but the prosecution rejected the request, claiming that the suspects would tamper with evidence and intimidate witnesses.