What you need to know:
- Twenty-three-year-old Matheka Musembi was charged alongside two women with the murder of Loice Nyokabi King’ori.
- Elizabeth Muthoki Kinyae, 19, and 18-year-old Esther Nekesa Muyaka, had earlier been charged with robbing Kingori of her two mobile phones.
A garbage collector, who allegedly picked up a mobile phone in trash and kept it, now stares at death sentence after it turned out that the gadget belonged to a woman who was killed in Umoja estate in September.
Twenty-three-year-old Matheka Musembi was charged alongside two women with the murder of Loice Nyokabi King’ori, an offence they allegedly committed between September 20 and 23, 2023 in Umoja estate, Nairobi.
Two teenage women, Elizabeth Muthoki Kinyae, 19, and 18-year-old Esther Nekesa Muyaka, had earlier been charged with robbing Kingori of her two mobile phones and fatally injuring her during the alleged robbery.
Kinyae as per police reports sells mobile phones while Muyaka is a house help and the three were picked up by police after the mobile phone, which belonged to the murdered woman, was traced to them.
The charge sheet stated that Musembi robbed Kingori of the phone of unknown value on an unknown date between September 20 and September 23, 2023 in contravention of section 296 (2) of the Penal Code.
They are accused of committing the offence jointly and fatally injuring King’ori during the alleged robbery. The offence is punishable by death, if convicted.
The garbage collector is facing an additional charge of handling stolen goods contrary to section 32 (1) (2) of the Penal Code, after he was allegedly found with the phone.
King’ori was found dead at her doorstep on September 23 by her sister who went to check on her after she failed to answer calls unusually before her two phones were switched off.
Musembi, just like the two suspects, was traced by the DCI and arrested after he inserted his SIM card in one of King’ori’s phones and started using it.
He told the detectives that he had found the phone in a trash he was offloading from a lorry that had delivered garbage at a site in Dandora, Nairobi, nearly two months ago.
The suspect said he threw the line he had found in the phone after consulting family and friends, and started using the phone before he was traced and arrested.
The police said King’ori was seen last alive on September 20 at 7pm and she did not communicate thereafter.
Her sister went to check on her on the morning of Saturday September 23 only to find her dead.
According to the police, Kingori’s killers, who appear to be highly skilled murderers, only left with her two mobile phones after stabbing her in the abdomen, neck and hands. They later disposed of the mobile phones, without using them.
The motive behind the murder and those behind it remain unclear and those found with Kingori’s phones are facing charges of violent robbery.
The two young women were also accused of killing Kingori during the alleged robbery. They also face a second count of handling stolen goods contrary to section 322 (1) (2) of the Penal Code after they were separately found with Kingori’s second phone.
They are accused of having dishonestly received and retained an Infinix phone to Kingori knowing or having reasons to believe it was a stolen property.
Kinyae, who operates a mobile phone repair shop with her husband, told the DCI that she had bought the phone from a youthful man who had initially brought it for repairs.
But the man, who is unknown to her, was unable to pay for repairs and opted to sell the phone to her altogether. She said she bought it at Sh700 and does not know the customer who sold her the phone.
After repairing it, she sold it to her house help – Muyaka – who is now her co-accused. The DCI traced Muyaka immediately she inserted her SIM card into the phone and arrested her, before she led them to arrest Kinyae.
Musembi denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Irene Gichobi of the Makadara Law Courts on Thursday.
Kinyae and Muyaka denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Erick Mutunga and were released on a bond of Sh200, 000 each with a surety of a similar amount.
He was remanded until January 18, 2024 when the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is expected to consolidate the two cases.