Kenya murder case sparks Massai outrage

Murder charges against a British aristocrat and prominent Kenyan farmer have been dropped by prosecutors, sparking public outrage…

Thomas Cholmondeley, son of the former British colonial farmer Baron Delamere, was charged with the murder of an undercover warden in April.


Cholmondeley, 37, denied the charges and said he acted in self-defence, believing the dead Maasai ranger, Simon Ole Sisina, to be an armed robber.

On 17 May Attorney General Amos Wako terminated the case saying there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Wako’s announcement sparked off unprecedented public outrage with several cabinet ministers calling for him to be sacked.

According to the evidence gathered, the shooting occurred on 19 April, 2005, and before a statement was recorded, a decision had been made to charge the grandson of Baron Delamere, one of Kenya's first white settlers, with murder.

Cabinet minister William ole Ntimama has asked the Attorney General to quit.

Ntimama, joined his Cabinet colleagues and human rights organisations in condemning the killing of the warder by Baron Delamere’s son.

Ntimama said Wako had lost credibility and dignity due to the manner in which he handled the matter.

"The release of Cholmondeley on the orders of the Attorney General is the biggest judicial scandal in post independent Kenya," said Ntimama.

He said that the nolle prosequi, an entry made on the record by which the prosecutor declares that he will proceed no further, demonstrated that justice in Kenya only belongs to the rich.

It was a pity, he said, that the man whose great grandfather had grabbed land from black people was now being accorded special treatment by a government of blacks.

"Kenyans are puzzled by Wako’s arrogance. Everyone clearly knows that murder is a serious charge," said Ntimama.

Already some members of parliament from the Liberal Democratic party, a faction of the ruling Coalition –NARC, have involved the Statehouse in the Saga.

But their claim that President Kibaki ordered the Attorney General office to enter a nolle prosequi has been refuted by a Statehouse spokesmen.

An inquiry into how the warden died on the 30,000 hectare farm is now expected to begin.