During former President Daniel Moi’s regime, there was a world beyond the normal theatrics of politics that was filled with rivals who settled scores through contracted hitmen.
Kipyegon Almaina Saina, better known as Kasewa, was among the hired hitmen who plied his lethal skill in exchange for cash.
Speaking to Itugi TV, the former hitman recalled how he ended up facing a death row sentence over the crimes he committed.
Born and bred in Bomet County, Kasewa dropped out after completing his primary education over financial constraints. After doing menial jobs, he enrolled in the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
Kipyegon AlMaina Saina better known as Kasewa speaks to Itugi TV on May 31, 2023. Photo Itugi TV
Kasewa later quit the Force and indicated that he was fed up with working with the government in the 1990s. Through his friend, he was then hired as a supervisor for a local hotel in Bomet in 1997.
He indicated that a lot of politicians frequented the hotel and left huge tips in the process. Through various interactions, Kasewa became fond of the politicians who hosted casual meetings in the hotel.
According to Kasewa, one of the politicians approached him and claimed that there was an opportunity for him to utilise his expertise and training background to earn more money.
Interested in the opportunity, Kasewa was directed to source for five more people who matched his skill. After conducting various practice sessions, he was handed his first contract: To kidnap one of the politician’s adversaries and take them to a specific location.
“We were not murderers. Our job was to kidnap and take the person to the required location,” he stated.
At that time, Kasewa had an eerie feeling about the job and did not know the extent of the atrocities he would have to commit in the incoming contracts.
In December 1997, he was handed his second contract to ‘use force’ on the politician’s opponent before the General Election. He expressed reservations about the type of force needed but was promised a high-ranking job in government should he carry out the directive.
Kasewa and his team proceeded to nab the target ( a former councilor) and ended up beating her to a bloody pulp. However, while escaping the scene, Kasewa was recognised by a few onlookers.
Police officers patrolling the area received a tip-off and arrested Kasewa the following day. He was caught with over Ksh500,000 in savings made from his earnings. The suspect was charged with six counts and stayed in remand for nine months.
Kasewa’s efforts to reach the politicians who had contracted him were futile as his calls went unanswered. In September 1998, he was handed the death sentence and taken to Naivasha Security Prison.
In August 2009, he received a reprieve after former President Mwai Kibaki commuted the death sentences of more than 4,000 prisoners.
The convict was charged afresh on the six counts and ordered to serve 13 more years for his crimes. He was later released in 2022.
Now a reformed person, Kasewa noted that he seeks to ply his new skills such as welding, painting and interior decoration to benefit society.
A photo of Naivasha Prison in Nakuru County pictured on October 18, 2014. Photo UNHCR KENYA