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Who is killing our women?

 Diana Mumbi Mwangi, Lilian Waithera and Rachel Aoko Okello

Murder most foul? The killer or motive behind the execution of Lilian Waithera might never come to light as has been the trend in the recent past.

Like Lilian, the murders of Diana Mumbi Mwangi, Jacinta Mary Achieng, and Rachel Aoko Okello remain unresolved begging the question of whether such killings are just mere statistics.

On Lilian's murder, while detectives thought they had made progress by arresting a licensed gun holder believed to have been around the scene of crime, ballistic analysis of his weapon ruled out the possibility of the man's involvement.

The woman was bizarrely shot dead on February 13 along Kaunda Street as she and a colleague walked from work at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in Upper Hill where she was a registration officer to the bus stop to catch a matatu back to her Buru Buru residence.

The 46-year-old first felt slight numbness and then told her a colleague something had hit her before collapsing outside the Jubilee Insurance building. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital where the mother of two married to Paul Njine Mbogo died.

It later emerged after a postmortem the following day, Lilian succumbed to a bullet wound. The single bullet found lodged in her lung, which was forwarded to ballistic experts based at the National Forensic Laboratory, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters.

The ballistics report ruling out the involvement of the suspect police had arrested, seems to have thrown detectives off track forcing them back to the drawing board as many questions remained unanswered.

Pathologists formed the opinion that the bullet was discharged from an elevated angle, but detectives have been struggling to establish the exact location the bullet originated from. Not more than once have they revisited the scene to reconstruct it in a bid to unravel the murder.

There are various theories that have come up, including one that she was killed since she was a whistleblower in an Sh1 billion scandal at NHIF.

Others claim it was a case of a deal gone sour. Interestingly, her colleagues remain tight-lipped.

But her husband discounted the whistleblower claim saying she never kept any secrets from him.

"She was not a witness of anything. Mary never hid anything from me. Even when she sneezed during the day, when we met in the evening she would tell me," he told parents of a school where his son is in Grade Four.

Investigators from Central DCI have also since ruled out the possibility that the shooting of Waithera had any relationship with her work at the NHIF.

At the weekend, police moved in to secure more evidence from a building where the bullet that killed Waithera is believed to have been fired from.

In this latest move to secure more evidence, the investigators have requested the management of the building to provide CCTV footage covering three floors.

In particular, they have asked the management to hand over footage of the events of February 13 between 4 pm and 7 pm. This is 90 minutes before the mysterious shooting of Waithera and another 90 minutes after the shooting.

The investigators have, at the same time, recovered a visitor movement book where the security department of this particular building records all people entering and leaving the building.

On Friday, forensic investigators from the DCI headquarters provided the Central Police Station investigators with a preliminary report on where the killer bullet could have been fired from.

The police also questioned security guards on the possibility that any of the residents or visitors were armed on the shooting happened.

Earlier, police recovered CCTV footage from the area of the shooting revealing Waithera's last moments.

Damaris Achieng, the colleague who had accompanied Waithera from their office in Upper Hill to town, has also recorded with the investigators detailing the last moments of Waithira.

According to Achieng', they left the office together after they failed to hike a lift from an office driver whom they had requested to drop them in town.

As they crisscrossed the busy street, Waithera was walking ahead of her. Suddenly, she saw her holding the left side of the heart as if something had pierced her. Achieng does not yet understand the direction from which the single bullet that pierced Waithira could have been fired.

Meanwhile, the arrested licensed gun holder was set free after the bullet's unique striations failed to match the barrels of his Glock pistol.

"As much as there could be foul play, the ballistics expert's opinion is final and has to be respected....there is nothing much we can do. Am foreseeing a situation where this investigation with either drag or be difficult to crack," said a detective.

It had been expected with National Forensic Laboratory launched about eight months ago, investigators when confronted with such incidences, would be able to pin criminals to crimes in record time. The laboratory is equipped with 10 specialized scientific state-of-the-art laboratories that complement each other.

Coming at a time when experts at the forensic lab should by now be on top of the game, the incident also raises questions about safety in the city and reliability of the much-hyped electronic surveillance. One of the biggest obstacles in the delivery of justice is the failure to link criminals to offenses. Like Diana, Jacinta and Rachel, we might never know what transpired before Lilian collapsed on the pavement at the Jubilee Insurance building.


The body of the first-year journalism student at Multimedia University was found at Kenyatta National Hospital mortuary about 10 days after she went missing on November 18, 2017.

On the day the young girl disappeared, she had left her sister's house in Nakuru to go back to university in Ongata Rongai.

Her family got worried after Diana's phone went off. "The first place I visited was her university and when I did not find her, I decided to go to Nakuru where she was last seen," her father, Peter Mwangi, told the media.

The family made a missing person report at Teachers Police Station in Nakuru where her mobile phone was allegedly tracked to Mangereta in Mtito Andei, Makueni County. It was established that the phone was in the possession of a different person. Investigators seemingly stuck, Mwangi gave up and decided to look for his daughter in the morgues. The search never took long before Diana's body was identified at KNH mortuary where the family was informed it was brought there on November 29.

The family was told that Diana was found unconscious in a lodging in Eastleigh on November 19 before being taken to the hospital where she later died.


About a week after Diana went missing, 28-year-old Jacinta Achieng, fondly known as Chichi, was found dead in her rental house at Race Course estate, Nakuru.

To date, Jacinta's killers have never been known forcing the family to seek the services of a private investigator who faulted the police for making little or no effort to conclusively investigate and close the matter.

"The investigations were handled so casually and unprofessionally, the matter seemed closed the moment the deceased was buried," concluded EPS in its report.

Colleagues at CFC Stanbic Bank where she had been just been promoted were alarmed when she failed to report to work on November 24, 2017.

One of the workers informed colleagues that Jacinta had texted him indicating she was unwell and admitted to the hospital.

The workmates started looking for her in various hospitals within Nakuru town when all phone calls to her went unanswered.

A male supervisor then went to her house where he found it had been locked from the inside. This informed the decision to report the matter at Bondeni Police Station.

Police officers accompanied Jacinta's colleagues to her residence and broke into the house. Upon searching the house, the police found her body on the floor near her bed covered in bed sheets.

Smell of paraffin was all over the house and the carpet near the door was partly burned. The body had two stab wounds. One on her wrist and the other one on back. The head was covered with a polythene bag. Two kitchen knives were found on the bed. A man was arrested and treated as a suspect due to his close association with the deceased. An identification parade was conducted at Bondeni Police Station where a witness was unable to identify the suspect who was released due to lack of evidence.

"Early in the investigation of this incident, the police developed the mindset that the murder was probably a crime of passion," said the private investigator.


Another incident that proved a hard nut to crack was the murder of Rachel Aoko Okello. The decomposing body of a 25-year-old was on March 16, 2010, found in the women's bathroom on the Mezzanine floor of NSSF Building's Block A.

Her mouth had been stuffed with paper and her underwear removed. It was suspected that Rachel was raped before being killed. A chemical was used to soften the stench during the nine days the body remained in the bathroom.

Police were called in when a stench started emanating from the bathroom. Rachel was a cleaner at the building. On the day she disappeared before her phone went off a senior NSSF officer had sent her to withdraw money from a nearby ATM.

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