Despite having a warrant of arrest against him out, Fred Nunda has come out of hiding and has been leading demonstrations in Kisii town by a section of boda boda riders in the last one week, calling for the removal of Governor Simba Arati.
In an act of defiance and out rightly daring the authorities, Nunda has been mobilising and leading rowdy demonstrators, mostly boda boda riders, whom he urged not to pay revenue, accusing Kisii Govenor Simba Arati of a string of alleged political transgressions.
Curiously, despite the warrant of arrest hovering on his head, Nunda was instead given VIP police escort on Monday, raising questions whether they were aware of the court order to arrest and take the suspect before a magistrate, or whether they had ignored the court altogether.
In addition, while the demonstrators were heavily armed with crude weapons and apparently threatening a breach of the peace, dozens of police who were present did not arrest the fugitive.
“Mr Governor, respect the county employees and leave the so-called ghost workers. Also, respect Kisii leaders including former governor James Ongwae and Silvanus Osoro. Respect Education CS Ezekiel Machogu,” Nunda said in reference to Mr Arati.
He spoke as he addressed protestors at the Capital roundabout, just 100 meters from Kisii police station and 150 meters from the court that’s looking for him.
Investigations by the Nation have established that the wanted man is enjoying protection from some senior government officials, who are allegedly using him as a tool to settle political scores.
“The suspect even hangs out with some police officers, the same people expected to enforce law and order,” said a source.
Two weeks ago, a criminal court in Kisii extended a warrant of arrest issued in December last year for the immediate arrest of Nunda, who is facing a string of criminal charges, ranging from fraud, theft and obtaining money by false pretenses after he jumped bail on one of the cases he is facing.
Nation has established that Nunda has eight criminal cases at the Kisii Law Courts. Four are active while four others have either been withdrawn or closed down after an alleged “negotiated” settlement.
When his case came up for hearing last December, Nunda failed to turn up in court. His lawyer Kerosi Ondieki was also conspicuously absent.
Issuing the order to arrest the suspect, Senior Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno directed the police to produce the suspect in court to face prosecution and for failing to honour his bail terms.
Nunda, who has been addressing a section of boda boda riders in the streets of Kisii town goes about his activities without police attempting to effect the courts order to arrest him.
The suspect has not neither surrendered to the court nor has he been discharged of the arrest warrant. Despite this, police have instead given him protection as he continues telling the boda boda riders not to pay revenue to Kisii county.
Nunda was supposed to appear in a case where he is charged with falsely obtaining Sh640,000 while pretending that he had a car to sell.
“On diverse dates between June 25, 2020, and July 3, 2020, at Kisii Township in Kisii Central Sub-County, with the intent to defraud you obtained Sh 640,300 from Erick Otieno Ojijo by falsely pretending that you were in a position to sell him a motor vehicle (Toyota Premio),” reads the charge sheet.
Eight months ago, Mr Nunda was shot and wounded as he attempted to flee from police officers.
After being apprehended and charged with a series of criminal violations, he was detained but while in custody at Kisii hospital, he again managed to con a patient of Sh45,000, pretending to have the capacity to sell them property.
On April 26, 2021, he was taken back to court on a stretcher to face additional criminal charges.
After appearing in court on the stretcher, Nunda was ordered detained in prison, pending the hearing of his criminal charges.
However, it is not clear how he found his freedom.
Some police officers in Kisii have expressed frustrations with the judiciary accusing them for allegedly failing to exercise the right to bail terms responsibly.
The police argue that despite Nunda having attempted to incite the public against the authorities and fleeing from lawful arrest, the court granted him bail.
The fact that the suspect is wanted by court and police apparently refusing to enforce the arrest order, Nunda has become a beneficiary of a dysfunctional criminal justice system.
Mr Arati supporters in Kisii believe Nunda is a loose cannon for hire by the governor’s political detractors to derail his development agenda for the County.
Their view is guided by the pronouncements at the gatherings where Nunda and his minions demanded for his removal and replaced by South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro, who is also the Parliamentary Chief Whip.