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Mystery of man’s shooting and his quick cremation

By Edwin Maina | October 27th 2019
John Mwangi who was killed in mysterious circumstances on September 28.


John Mwangi, a businessman, spent the day on September 28 with his family at their Kitengela home.

He left at about 7pm for Kitengela town. He had asked his wife and children to get ready for a trip to Mombasa where he was to accompany a friend to a dowry ceremony.

Three hours later, his body was found inside a car in Karen. He had been shot together with another man. In a separate car, another man had been shot and seriously injured.

At about 10.40pm, officers from Karen Police Station were called to the scene.

It was a baffling situation: Two men who were driving in one car had been shot dead while a third man escaped death by a whisker. The officers collected the bodies, towed the vehicles to Karen Police Station while the survivor was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital.

The victims had no identification documents, but relatives identified their bodies at the City Mortuary. It is then that it emerged that one of them was 52-year-old John Mwangi, a man known to engage in legal as well as underworld business.

The other victim was 44-year-old Richard William, a Tanzanian.

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Fought over cash

Police distanced themselves from the shooting and a senior police officer in Nairobi claimed the killed men were shot by fellow criminals as they fought over cash.

Mwangi was cremated at the Kariokor crematorium on September 30 at a low key event attended by a few relatives.

Almost a month later, police are yet to unravel the murder mystery.

A relative of Mwangi who asked to remain anonymous said the family has been receiving threats but who have threated to kill them just like they did to Mwangi. The threats have been coming through short text messages. They are, however, fearful to report to the police.

In an interview with the Sunday Standard, the relative admitted that Mwangi was involved in shady deals that included sale of stolen motor vehicles.

They say they are aware of a racket where stolen vehicles are sold to Tanzania and other countries. This made Mwangi a target of the police as well as other members of his criminal network.

“We do not know if it is the police who did it or whether it is people who had grudges with him,” said the relative.

A jovial and bubbly man, Mwangi managed to keep his criminal activities away from the public.

He was involved in several businesses and it was therefore hard to link him to crime, according to those who interacted with him.

At one point, Mwangi operated a hearse outside the City Mortuary.

He closed it after 2010 and moved to Kangundo Road, where he sold bottled water both in retail and wholesale.

Yesterday Nairobi DCI Chief Bernard Nyakwaka declined to comment on the matter.

A report from Karen Police Station to Vigilance House says the Toyota Fielder car the dead men were driving in was riddled with bullet holes.

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