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Journalist’s fiance held over city woman killing

Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe

A fiance of a TV journalist is being detained at Nairobi’s Kilimani Police Station over the killing of Monica Nyawira Kimani in her Kilimani apartment last week.

Joseph Kuria Irungu, popularly know as Jowie, was arrested and detained by  Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers after he was positively identified in a police parade by four witnesses—two guards and two neighbours—as one of the two people last seen at Monica’s house on September 19.

Monica’s body was found in a bathtub in her apartment with her throat slit.

Irungu is engaged to TV presenter Jackie Maribe, who was also interrogated to allegedly verify her fiance’s story.

The suspect, who denied any link to the killing, is said to have walked into Lang’ata Police Station on Friday morning claiming he had been shot as he dropped Maribe at their Royal Park Estate house. Irungu reported vide OB79/21/9/2018 that he had been attacked by unknown assailants and shot in the left side of the chest.

Maribe reportedly admitted to driving her boyfriend to Nairobi West Hospital  with a gunshot wound on Friday.

Kilimani OCPD Michael Muchiri said investigations are ongoing, adding that they would arraign Irungu over the killing today.

Irungu, who had worked in Dubai as a security officer for a private firm, is reported to have schooled with Monica at Nairobi’s Kenya Polytechnic, now Technical University of Kenya.

People Daily learned that police have since established he was in the house with Monica as well as two other men on the day she was killed.

The two, a Lebanese and a Kenyan, recorded their statements.

The Lebanese was a Monica’s neighbour and had visited her for a chat a few minutes after her arrival from a foreign trip.

The woman was allegedly dropped off at her apartment in Lamuria Gardens, off Dennis Pritt Road around 7.15pm. She picked up some clothes she had ordered dropped at the gate and her house keys before retiring to her apartment number A8 on the third floor of the second block.

It was then that the Lebanese man walked in.  Minutes later, a man, identified as Owen, walked into the house bearing a number plate. Police have since established that Monica had requested Owen to bring the number plate for a car she had imported from South Sudan, where she run a family business.

Soon after, Irungu walked in and greeted Monica and introduced himself to the two men. He was  wearing a kanzu and a cap.

The Lebanese man and Owen told police they concluded that the deceased and Irungu knew each other well from the way they engaged.

“The Lebanese was the first one to leave followed by Owen. Irungu remained in the house until late in the night before he drove out past 2am,” a police officer privy to the investigations told People Daily.

The following day, Monica’s brother George Kimani would find her body in a bathtub.

He said her hands were tied at the back, the bathtub tap running and the TV on. The brother said they had to break into the house having failed to get a response after knocking several times. Monica lived alone.

Inside the house were two glasses of wine. A yellow bag containing a piece of bread and injera an Ethiopian delicacy, was hanging from the main door.

Guards told police Irungu presented a fake identity card bearing the name of Dominic when he drove in and out. Police are reportedly trying to establish his motive of using fake documents.

He switched off his mobile phone for the better part of Thursday.  Police linked Irungu to the incident after one of those who had recorded statements said they knew him as Jowie and  was Maribe’s boyfriend.

His phone was also traced to Monica’s house on the fateful night.

“His call logs showed he was at that apartment. His car was also spotted there,” said our source.

Police became curious after Irungu walked to Lang’ata Police Station on Friday to report his attack by men who he said escaped on a motorbike.

Irungu is apparently a licenced gun holder but it is not clear if he was armed then.

Police could not verify the shooting incident at Royal Park Estate as no cartridges were found at the scene. Neighbours and guards interviewed also said they did not hear gunshots.

“No spent cartridge was recovered at the scene but the probe is ongoing,” police said.

Police said they are now looking for the killer weapon— a knife—cellotape used to tie her, Monica’s car and house keys.

Monica’s father, Reverend Paul Ngarama of Rebuilding Apostolic Faith Mission Church, said his daughter was to fly to Dubai last Friday to meet her fiancé.

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