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Deadly passion: Pastor Muiru’s mum could have been killed over love affair

County_Nairobi
 Late Grace Wangari and his son Bishop Pius Muiru and Bishop Muiru’s maisonette in Kigumo, sitting next to that of older brother Philip Kabue. Inset Security guard Ezekiel Saitambua and Monica Muthomi

Just like in the movies, the body of Pastor Pius Muiru’s mother was discovered in a shallow grave in her homestead in Kigumo, Murang’a County. That was on the night of March 20.

 As the family grapples with the mysterious murder, detectives in Murang’a are working round the clock to unravel the puzzling death of Grace Wangari who died at the age of 75.

 According to investigations, the murder of Wangari could have been provoked by an illicit affair between Wangari’s watchman Ezekiel Saitambua, 33, and her daughter-in-law, Monica Muthoni, 36. The suspects have both given shocking confessions.

 A detective investigating the murder confirmed that the watchman not only confessed about the infidelity, but also revealed that he was seeing another woman who lives in the nearby Mariira town. Some items belonging to the late Wangari, including bedding and gas cylinders were discovered in this woman’s house.

 Kigumo OCPD Ali Zimbu told The Nairobian that, “At the moment, we will not focus on this other woman as it might divert our investigations. That is their problem that they have to deal with. Our focus is on collecting tangible evidence about the murder.”

 Inside the tightly-secured homestead, Saitambua and Muthoni reportedly developed feelings for each other, a development that the deceased did not approve of and almost cost Saitambua his job. To the outside world, this affair did not exist until Saitambua confessed at Kigumo Police Station. He also confessed to killing and burying Wangari after Muthoni promised to pay him Sh6,000.

 Pastor Muiru suspects that Muthoni and Saitambua may have murdered his mother because she knew too much about their affair.

“That is what we think, but what were they thinking would happen next?” he wonders.

 An elder from the area hinted that only immediate family and some clan members knew about the illicit affair and how it had strained the relationship between Wangari and the suspects.

 “She complained a lot about her daughter-in-law and the watchman, but her son wasn’t bothered so much. Muthoni and Saitambua were rude to her and she even beefed security at home fearing for her safety. She would lock herself inside her house before 9pm,” said the elder.

 Wangari lived in her Kigumo home with two watchmen, his two sons; Mathew Waweru and Philip Kabue and Muthoni, who is the wife of Waweru, the deceased’s last born. Kabue who is an older son is not married.

Her well-off pastor son Muiru visited regularly. Waweru runs a transport business, while Kabue has a shop at the nearby shopping centre. Wangari owned property in a number of towns along the Kangari-Kaharati road.

 When contacted, Waweru claimed his wife who hails from the neighbouring ward is innocent and did not have any affair with Saitambua. The couple has three children.

 While the family has opted to keep off Waweru’s bedroom matters, Saitambua and neighbours claim that for a while, things had not been rosy at the homestead.

 “There was an altercation barely 24-hours before the old woman was killed,” a neighbour told The Nairobian.

 On March 19, Pastor Muiru’s wife Lucy Muiru, had visited the homestead to discuss a number of issues, but mostly to warn Saitambua to respect Wangari and keep off family matters. A family member suspects that the meeting may have prompted Wangari’s murder.

According to another neighbour, “Wangari had no regular visitors. Her two watchmen took care of her daily needs and ran errands for her.”

Meanwhile, about a week before her death, her cow was poisoned and buried at the same shallow grave Wangari’s body was discovered.

 “The killing of the cow was a ploy to justify excavation and cover up of possible stench of my mother’s body, whose murder had clearly been planned earlier,” Muiru said.

 On the fateful day, Waweru found her mum missing and her house was also in a disarray.  Saitambua and Muthoni claimed they didn’t know her whereabouts and her phone was off. This prompted Muiru to reach out to Safaricom for help. The prime suspect had also made an M-Pesa transaction at the nearby Karega shopping centre.

“They traced her sim card and located it in the homestead. An ambush was made on the night of March 22. Saitambua was found in possession of the phone and after interrogation, he confessed to the murder and took investigators to the shallow grave where they had buried her,” an elderly neighbour said, adding that, “Muthoni  was also picked by police officers after she was implicated in the murder.” 

 The family of Wangari learnt of her death at midnight and her body was exhumed the following day. The two suspects were members of Muiru’s Maximum Miracle Centre church in the area.

 The death of Wangari has divided relatives. While some are willing to accept and move on, others want justice.

Pastor Muiru, a 2007 presidential aspirant told The Nairobian that they want to know the motive behind the killing.

“We will forgive the killers, but this should not be mistaken for setting them free. There is the rule of law that should prevail. I still don’t understand why they killed my mother and went about their business unperturbed knowing very well they had buried her just a few metres away,” Muiru told The Nairobian.

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