Murder inquest: Trader beat lover

Josephine Njeri the daughter of the late Sarah Wambui looks at her portrait in their home in Kiambaa Village in Kiambu. Wambui died on February 7, 2016. Her family is now accusing the police of an alleged cover-up. [Kamau Munene, Mt Kenya]

A butcher narrated to a Kiambu court his last encounter with a woman who was a lover to his boss before she died mysteriously. Harun Mwaura, who operated butchery at Loli-Pop club located at Laini shopping Centre in Kiambaa, recounted in court the tense moments between Sarah Wambui Mungai and the alleged lover.

 Mwaura recounted before Kiambu Principal Magistrate Grace Omodho how Kennedy Kahochio, his boss, started to beat Wambui when she went and told him to take her and her daughter home.

 Mwaura told the court he had gone to the club upstairs at around 9 pm on February 7, 2016, to get money from Kahochio for meat he had taken with his guests when the fight between him and Wambui broke up.

“Wambui came to the table where Kahochio was and told him to take them home. All of a sudden, I heard screams and when I turned to look at what was happening, I saw him slapping Wambui. I went back to the butchery downstairs and the deceased followed me to her M-Pesa shop which was just next to the butchery,” he said.

The butcher told the court that Wambui, who was crying uncontrollably, called out her daughter, who was in the M-Pesa shop, to open for her. The court heard that the building where the M-Pesa shop, butchery, and the club were situated belong to Kahochio.

 He added Kahochio followed Wambui to her shop where he beat her up again before ushering her to the car and later driving off.

“Kahochio his lover and her daughter left in the car and the two lovers later returned after a short while. I gathered they had taken Wambui’s daughter home. They both stayed in the car for about 30 minutes” he said.

Mwaura said he closed the butchery at around 9.30 pm and left for home leaving the two still in the car. He told the court as he was leaving for home, his boss called him to enquire about something and he saw the deceased sleeping on the dashboard of the vehicle. The butcher, who had worked at the club for two years, said he was shocked when he reported to work the following morning and told by one of the bar attendants that Wambui had died the previous night.

The witness was testifying during an inquest probing the circumstances that led to the mysterious death of Wambui on February 7, 2016.

 The witness was hard-pressed by Kahochio’s lawyer James Kibunja to explain why he had recorded two statements at the DCI. He told the court the first statement was not based on what he witnessed but on what he was allegedly coached to say by his boss.

“I was told by the boss on what to write. We both sat down in the club and agreed on what I would record with the police and since I did not want to lose my job I obliged,” he said.

Made two statements The butcher informed the court, he however decided to write the second statement in order to tell the truth and set the record straight based on what he witnessed.

On being challenged why he did not rescue Wambui from his boss, the witness said he declined since the two were lovers and Kahochio was his boss and he therefore feared to the boss on what to write. “We both sat down in the club and agreed on what I would record with the police and since I did not want to lose my job I obliged.”

be seen as siding with the deceased. John Njenga, the deceased’s brother, also recalled how he was called by his brother late in the night, who informed him that their sister was seriously ill at Karuri Level 4 hospital.

 “At the hospital, we found our sister lying on a bed and covered with a white sheet. Moments later, the doctor in-charge informed us that she was already dead,” said Njenga.

He told the court their efforts to follow up the matter over their sister’s mysterious death at Karuri Police Station bore no fruits as the police allegedly frustrated them making them to report the matter to DCI headquarters.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) early this year ordered an inquest into the death of the woman three years ago. In a letter signed by Nicholas Mutuku on his behalf, DPP Noordin Haji stated that the matter would be heard at the Kiambu Magistrate’s Court.

In September, Josphine Njeri the deceased’s daughter testified that her late mother and the suspect were in a relationship since 2014 and did not have a smooth relationship.

She told the court there are times her late mum could refuse to pick Kahochio’s calls and she instructed her to block his number.

“My mum and Kahochio took me home. They were not talking and I could tell something was amiss. When I got out, I told him goodbye but he did not respond. This was unusual,” she said.