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Kabete OCS Stephen Lelei’s wife dies after mysterious car fire along Thika road

COUNTIES
By C Ombati | January 14th 2014
Kabete OCS Stephen Lelei. [PHOTO: STANDARD/ FILE]

By CYRUS OMBATI

NAIRIBI, KENYA: A wife to a senior celebrated police officer in Nairobi died in a mysterious fire incident that was caused by an explosion in their car along Thika Road.

Mrs Matilda Lelei, 36 and a mother of three succumbed to injuries after the incident that occurred on Saturday morning. She was the wife of the Kabete OCS Mr Stephen Lelei.

Lelei said they were driving home on Saturday at 1 am when an explosion occurred leading to a huge fire.

The incident happened near Safari Park Hotel. It is not clear if they were targeted.

“I managed to park on the road side and jumped out as the fire broke out engulfing the entire car. It is unfortunate my wife died later,” said Lelei.

Lelei insisted the fire was started by the explosion that occurred inside the car. He said he is yet to know the nature of the explosion and that the wife died on Monday at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

They were heading to their Kasarani residence when the incident happened. Lelei said he had picked Matilda from a meeting she had in the city and they were heading home when the fire broke out.

“She had been in a meeting of other women while I was on duty before I went to pick her. I don’t know the nature of the explosive device that caused this fire,” he said.

Kasarani head of CID Valerian Obore said a team of experts including those from bomb disposal unit has been composed to investigate what caused the fire.

“The incident remains a mystery to us and that is why we are involving the experts to pursue it to the end,” said Obore.

As the in charge of Kabete, a crime prone area Lelei has managed to contain violent robberies and attacks there over the past five years.

Lelei was one of the government officials and civilians identified for national honours in recognition of his exemplary work last December. He was selected for the award of the Silver Star (SS).

The State commendations are awarded by the President in recognition of outstanding or distinguished services rendered to the nation in various capacities and responsibilities.

His bravado was proven later when terrorists stormed the Westgate Shopping Mall, killing shoppers and holding others hostage on September 21.

He was shot in the right leg as he and other officers led a hastily assembled team of officers in battle against the heavily armed terrorists.

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