The strange death of banker who had won Australia scholarship

Oscar Owino, the banker who died under mysterious circumstances in Nyali, Mombasa.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Oscar Owino, 27, a banker working in Mombasa, whose death last month at an apartment in Nyali remains a mystery, had won a scholarship and was on his way to Australia to further his studies.

On August 14, 2023 at 3:15am, Owino made several calls to his colleague identified as Edwin Matengo but the calls went unanswered. He made nine calls within seven minutes.

That night, the deceased had joined his colleagues to celebrate Matengo's birthday at a busy and popular hotel in Nyali, Mombasa. 

After enjoying themselves for hours, Matengo and other colleagues excused themselves saying they were tired and had to go back to their respective homes.

They left Owino in the company of Phenny Kisasati, 39, who said they would spend some time at the hotel before leaving. That night they went to Royal Apartments, where Kisasati had been staying. 

Oscar Owino, the banker who died under mysterious circumstances in Nyali, Mombasa.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Witnesses say they stayed there for some time before they were joined by another person and at some point they all left.

"They stayed for some time before they left together, when they left they were all fine until the next day when we were informed of what happened," said a source who works at the club and spoke in confidence due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations are yet to reveal the identity of the third person who joined Kisasati and Owino on that night.

The Nation contacted the management of the hotel and the supervisor denied knowledge of any violent incident at the hotel. 

"We receive a lot of customers on a daily basis but I can assure you that so far no one has approached us or raised the matter with any of our team members," the supervisor said.

Investigations by the Nation reveal that Kisasati was a frequent visitor to Owino's rented house in Bamburi. A neighbour said she had seen Kisasati visiting Owino on several occasions.

"I have seen him several times in the company of a woman who drives a Nissan Cube," the neighbour said. The family's lawyer, Eric Benjamin, told the Nation that Kisasati drives a car similar to the one described by the neighbour. 

An examination of how the matter was reported and the timeliness of the reports reveals inconsistencies. A report was made on the Occurrence Book (OB) at 4am, 30 minutes after a sister of the deceased had been informed that he was no longer alive.

According to Premier Ambulances, they arrived at the scene at 1.10am and found that Owino was already died. 

Oscar Owino, the banker who died under mysterious circumstances in Nyali, Mombasa.

Photo credit: Courtesy

The paramedics who rushed to the scene also say they found that his T-shirt had been torn off, but the family had been informed by a colleague of the deceased that it had been torn off by the paramedics.

The OB also states that the body of the deceased was taken to the Pandya Hospital mortuary, which is not the case as it was taken to the Coast General Hospital mortuary.

Kisasati had told the police that she had left the deceased on the balcony of her fifth-floor flat while he was having drinks and went to sleep.

"She informed the police that the two had attended a party at the Maasai Beach Hotel where they had drinks until late hours before retiring to her apartment where she excused herself and went to sleep, leaving the deceased on the balcony while he continued to have more drinks," reads part of a police report obtained by us. 

In her statement to the police, she said that when Owino took a long time to join her, she went to find out what was happening but never found him on the balcony. Later, she said she went downstairs and found the boyfriend lying dead, she raised the alarm and neighbours responded.

In addition, police officers said that the deceased was 36 years old, which is not true as his identity card shows that he was 27.

"The ID was in his pockets, why didn't the police look at it and register his age?" asked Mr Benjamin. Mr Benjamin wondered how his phone could be intact if the story that he had fallen was at all true.

He also said that one of the deceased's colleagues had even persuaded the family to accept that he had died in an accident so that they could get his benefits.

Efforts by the family to have the CCTV footage reviewed were unsuccessful, with DCI officers telling them that they were waiting for experts from DCI headquarters to help with the review.

It has also emerged that the guard on duty at the time of the incident had taken a leave of absence and left Mombasa for Taita Taveta County. 

A post-mortem report in our possession shows that Owino died of cardiovascular arrest due to trauma to the chest causing perforation of the lungs. Interestingly, there was no evidence of impact on his body and no broken bones.

This week, the family wrote to DCI Mohamed Amin asking him to launch a fresh investigation into the incident, citing suspicions of foul play.

In a letter to Mr Amin, the family expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Nyali police had handled the case and raised concerns about the circumstances surrounding Owino's death.

The family's letter said: "Please treat this letter as an appeal and extreme concern about the manner in which we, as the family of the deceased, have witnessed and understood the ongoing investigations.

The family also revealed that they had attempted to speak to the last person seen with Owino, but had found inconsistencies in her statements.

To date, no person of interest has made a statement to the police regarding the death of the Owino. "We have received the post-mortem report, which is inconsistent with the injuries caused by the alleged fall.

In addition, the chronology of events is highly inconsistent with the natural flow and timeliness of subsequent activities," the statement continued. 

A detective told the Nation that no action had been taken against Kisasati because there was no evidence linking her to Owino's death.

Nyali police boss Daniel Mumasaba said investigations into the matter were still ongoing.

"The matter is still under investigation. It is still an ongoing case that has been reported under this jurisdiction," he said.