The 30-year-old mother of two who was shot dead alongside her son by her lover in Mwingi, Kitui County, was a celebrated cook loved by hotel patrons due to her great culinary skills.
Those who knew Joyce Mwende while she worked at Talent Resort located at Waita market acknowledged that her pilau was the best, and drew customers from far and wide.
It is perhaps her culinary skills that melted the heart of her lover turned killer, Police Constable David Kimani Nduati, attached to Waita GK Prison, who killed the woman and her one-year-old son on Tuesday night under unclear circumstances.
According to reports, the officer would often join other patrons at the hotel where they enjoyed Mwende’s great meals and where she welcomed them with a permanent smile. One thing led to another and the two started living together at the officer’s house within the prison. Mwende also brought in her two young children to live together with her new-found partner.
“She was my employee and everybody liked her pilau. She was a great cook, a friendly woman who was committed to her work,” Caxton Mutambuki told The Standard. She was also a converted Muslim and was religious and mindful of others, he added.
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“They were not officially married but they were living together for about six months,” Waita location assistant chief Joseph Mbunge said.
A second child managed to escape from the house as the officer went on rampage. The suspect is being held at Mwingi Central Police Station where the area sub-county police commander Peter Mutuma said investigations into the killings have commenced.