For over one year and six months, former Kilifi County Protocol officer John Mathias Kazungu (Kazungu John) has been a wanted man.
Kazungu was first arrested and arraigned in a Kilifi court for defiling an underage girl. He is also facing other four counts which include kidnapping of the victim from her home and also from Bakhita girls rescue centre where she was rescued to. Kazungu allegedly committed the offences between October 24 and January 22nd 2018. He was released on a Sh500, 000 bond and a surety of a similar amount.
After taking the plea and securing the bond, Kazungu failed to appear before court for mentions and hearings. He stopped going to Court after the victim testified against him.
Former Kilifi senior principal magistrate Robinson Ondiek issued over ten warrants of arrest to compel the police to apprehend the accused but he could not be arrested.
Police claimed the accused had crossed over to Tanzania while other sources claimed he was hiding in Nairobi.
At some point, one of the sureties demanded to withdraw his title deed after he confirmed to have seen the accused at his Kijiwetanga home in Malindi. The request was declined by the court on grounds that the suspect will present himself in court.
The Journey to Justice
According to Court records Kazungu was arrested and took his second plea on February, 2nd 2018 before Kilifi Senior Principal Magistrate Robinson Ondieki where he was charged with other additional counts which included kidnapping of the victim and interfering with.
He did not appear in Court on March 5th 2018 which was the scheduled hearing date for the case after he claimed to be sick but came the following day on March 6th.
The prosecution was concerned about his failure to appear in court. The prosecution brought the matter to the attention of the court.
“This is the 3rd time the accused is absconding himself from Court. His conduct is meant to frustrate trial of this matter,” said DPP Henry Achochi.
He appeared in Court on March 15th and 20th 2018 when the victim was testifying.
Warrant of arrest
After that he did not show up in Court and on May 5th 2018 the Court issued a warrant of arrest.
He stopped going to Court from then and the matter was only being mentioned. The warrant of arrest was extended on May 15th and 28th 2018. On June 11, 2018 the accused did not attend court. The prosecution prayed for the extension of the warrant of arrest. However the Court issued them with the last mention.
On June 13th and July 4th 2018 he did not appear in court. He also absconded on July 16th 2018.
On July 30th 2018 he was absent and Ondieki summoned the Investigating Officer from the Kilifi Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the sureties. He extended the warrant of arrest.
On August 10th 2018 he was absent but the prosecution informed the court that the Investigating officer had sent a signal for the arrest of the accused and asked the Court to summon the DCI officer in charge of operations.
The matter was set for mention on August 24th 2018 which did not take place. The case was mentioned on September 12th 2018 and the warrant of arrest was extended.
It was later mentioned on January, 18th this year before Senior Principal Magistrate Robinson Ondieki who extended the warrant of arrest.
He was re-arrested on 20th June 2019 and arraigned in a Kilifi court for absconding court.