Mombasa police seek motive in tragic double killing

Joab Omondi is alleged to have shot Peninah Kaimenyi before committing suicide in Likoni on April 19. [Weldon Kipkemoi, Standard]

The policeman who died in a double shooting Friday had recently borrowed Sh800,000 from a sacco, documents seen by The Standard reveal.

The documents also show that one day before his death, Inspector Joab Omondi Mwanza Ojuondo had applied for several jobs with local and international organisations.

Inspector Omondi died at around 9.30pm outside a bar in Mtongwe, Likoni, from what was said to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

His corpse was found next to a woman, Peninah Kaimenyi, who had been shot on the forehead.

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Some of the nine witnesses who have talked to the police said Omondi shot Kaimenyi at close range before shooting himself in the neck.

Little light has been shed on what could have triggered the officer to take the woman’s life and then commit suicide.

Multiple sources who knew both individuals told The Standard that the dead woman was not a stranger to Omondi because they had been seen together on several occasion.

Kaimenyi was recently divorced from a Kenya Defence Forces soldier at the Mtongwe Naval Base, according to local reports. Her brother, Dennis Kaburu, said Kaimenyi and her ex-husband had two children aged 11 and 7. He, however, denied that she had been having an affair with Omondi.

“We have never seen this man together with my sister,” said Kaburu.

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He claimed that Omondi had opened fire after being challenged when he walked to his sister’s kiosk and demanded that the loud music be turned off.

Omondi had been the Likoni OCS for about three months after his transfer from the provincial administration.

Documents showed that the 37-year-old officer held a Bachelors degree from Moi University and had competed a Masters programme at the Central Gujarat University in India in May last year.

According to records, Omondi hailed from Rangwe in Homa Bay.

The teenager from Kakungu village completed his Form Four education at Oyugis Secondary School in 2002. He joined Moi University in January 2005 to study for a Bachelors Degree in Arts.

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But he quit university three months later to join the Embakasi Administration Police Training College where he graduated after nine months and was posted to Lamu.

“When he was here in Lamu in January 2006, he wrote a letter to Moi University seeking to revive his degree programme after he had deferred his studies to secure employment in the police service,” a source told The Standard.

Omondi’s wish was granted and he graduated on December 15, 2011. Upon returning to the police force, he was posted to Kisii and Mbita in Homa Bay before getting a transfer to Mombasa.

From May 15, 2014, he undertook a six-month Administration Police cadet course and on completion was promoted to the rank of Inspector of Police on December 16 the same year.

Omondi was awarded a scholarship by the National Police Service to study in India in 2016, leading to his graduation in May last year.

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Curiously, he was still living in the police quarters despite police standing orders that officers above the rank of inspector should not stay within the station or police camp.

Police sources said it was not clear what the money Omondi had gotten from the National Police Service Sacco Society had been spent on.

They also said the inspector was respected by his juniors because he often sought their opinion before acting on some issues.

“He would call junior officers to consult on some things – even on matters where he was supposed to act individually as his rank allows,” one source revealed.

Investigators said they recovered one spent cartridge at the scene although initial reports had indicated that four shots were fired on that fateful day.

Police boss Benjamin Rotich confirmed that a Ceska pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition was recovered from the scene. The pistol holds 15 rounds when fully loaded.

Mr Rotich said post-mortems on the two bodies would be done today at the Coast General Hospital.

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Homa BayKenya Defence ForcesLikoni OCS