A blunder by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions saw Safaricom Killer director Ms Sylvia Mulinge walk free with murder. But further sources have alluded that money must have changed hands because the way the ODPP wing handled the case in a very careless manner raises eyebrows.
The scandal involved a road crash that resulted to the death of a poor minor resident in the slums of Kibera adjacent to the Southern bypass in Nairobi caused by a sleek vehicle driven by a top Safaricom executive Sylvia Mulinge. The vehicle, a top of the range Toyota Prado KBU 483M has Safaricom Ltd registered as its legal owners.
Mrs Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge, rejected by Tanzania over integrity, was involved in the fatal accident allegedly caused by reckless driving resulting in the death of young Mary Kusa Etale who was a minor living with her parents in Kibera. Mrs Mulinge, in conspiracy with her bosses, then went ahead and kept the crash secret contrary to Vodafone’s strict Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy.
Lawyers acting for the deceased wrote a protest letter to the Directorate of Public Prosecution highlighting the mishandling of the case of causing death by careless/dangerous driving. The letter was copied to the Inspector General of Police and the Independent Police Oversight Authority. The DPP investigations into the matter would held Sylvia Mulinge to account but what really happened?
The accident was itself a bold violation of a core section of Vodafone’s “Absolute Rules” on OHS which demands that employees must “never exceed speed limits or travel at speeds that are dangerous for the type of road, vehicle, or conditions”. Eyewitnesses claim Mrs Mulinge was speeding while overtaking a stationary truck at the time of the accident which happened in an area known as “Raila Village” which is known to have high pedestrian traffic. She was also drunk and staggering at the time.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore appears to have secretly conspired with Mrs Mulinge to cover up the accident with the intention of protecting the exposure of Mrs Mulinge as a reckless/careless driver and move which amounts to a serious infringement of one of the core values for Vodafone PLC which, as part of its OHS, maintains a strict zero tolerance to loss of life or injury related to Vodafone operations or by any of its more than 100,000 employees worldwide.
The scandalous Safaricom top duo then went as far as attempting to bribe the parents of the deceased through an out of court settlement with a paltry offer Kenya shillings 950,000/- which betrayed the value they attached to the late Mary’s life.
To make matter worse, correspondence prepared by lawyers acting for the deceased family suggest Mrs Mulinge and Mr. Collymore of illegally influencing law enforcement officials to avoid thorough investigations as to the cause and circumstances of the fatal accident.
Despite all these details, the Killer director managed to bribe a Judge to scuttle the case after she went to court. Mulinge had moved to court in a bid to stop her arrest arguing that there was malice from the police to charge her for an offence that occurred in February 2015. Even stories on media were purged using Safaricom’s deep financial pockets.
The high court barred the police and DPP from arresting and prosecuting her, something that shocked Kenyans. Justice George Odunga prohibited the agencies from arresting or prosecuting Mulinge for the offence of causing the death of a minor by dangerous driving. In a judgement read on his behalf by Justice John Mativo, Odunga further ordered that Mulinge should not be charged at the Kibera law courts.
What raised eyebrows was the ODPP’s lack of ambition in prosecuting this case, despite mountains of evidence.
The Judge indicated that the status quo remains unless the police and DPP have satisfactory evidence that the circumstances have changed to warrant a review of the initial decision not to charge her, but these two agencies went mute revealing that Safaricom had used their deep financial powers to buy the system.
Why the no-nonsense DPP Noordin Haji has not re-opened the case has remained a mystery.
The Big question is ” How will the next powerful Safaricom Director know that driving drunk, overspeeding and killing minors has consequences? “
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