On October 24, 2011, Mohamed Anwar left his two siblings in his house in South C estate in Nairobi with his domestic worker Aggrey Amugune as he went to the nearby Mosque for 1pm prayers only to return and find them unconscious, each in a pool of blood.
The two later died in hospital.
Amugune had worked for Anwar for three days a week for two weeks, cleaning the house, and washing utensils and clothes.
Anwar had left Amina Falzidin and Mohamed Afzal full of life, but he returned one hour later to find them in his sister’s bedroom writhing in pain, all with similar deep cuts on their heads.
He had noticed that the house was unusually quiet as he came in and that his food was not on the table as usual.
Anwar entered the kitchen and saw some chapati flour mixture that his sister was to cook on the table.
His sister’s bedroom
Concerned that there was a problem, he walked towards the bedrooms, where he heard heavy breathing from his sister’s bedroom.
He opened the door and found his brother lying on the floor and his sister on the bed. Both of them were bleeding heavily and were in critical condition.
Blood was all over the room, on the floor, and the walls and ceiling.
Amugune, who was supposed to be with them in the house, was missing. Amina’s laptop was also missing.
Anwar called in his other brother and neighbours who took Amina to South C Medical Centre and Afzal to the Mater Hospital in South B, where they succumbed to their injuries hours later.
When pathologist Dr Muriuki Ndegwa later conducted postmortems of the two, he found that Amina had deep cuts on the head and Afzal had multiple bruises and cassations on the face, head, and upper arms.
Their clothes were blood-stained. Dr Ndegwa concluded that in both cases, their death was caused by severe head injuries due to blunt force trauma.
The matter was then reported to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Lang’ata offices as a robbery case with violence, and investigations started.
A search for Amugune also started in earnest.
The next day, on October 25, 2011, Amugune called his churchmate Derickson Khamati at 7am and told him that he needed to speak to their pastor Geoffrey Maina. He requested the pastor to call him through Khamati’s phone, which he did.
When Mr Maina called, Amugune told him that he was in Westlands and required assistance as he was stranded.
Amugune told Maina that some people of Asian origin had hired him to transport cocaine to Wilson Airport at the cost of Sh3,000.
He said he had done the job but was not paid.
Before he ran away
He said his boss threatened to shoot him and chased him from home in South C, where he worked, and as he was leaving, he saw a piece of wood outside the house which he picked up and used to hit the boss and his son before he ran away.
Pastor Maina of Calvary Holiness and Restoration church advised Amugune to report to the police that his life was in danger, but he flatly refused, claiming that he feared retribution from his boss.
Amugune also told Mr Maina that he had gotten a job at a city restaurant and was to report on duty that day and requested assistance to relocate from the plot where he was living to a place on Wanyee Road in Kawangware, Nairobi.
Pastor Maina assisted Amugune in relocating to a house behind Kenya Bus Services (KBS) terminus in Kawangware.
Five days later, Amugune informed Mr Maina that he was travelling to his rural home in Western Kenya. He remained there for one month before returning toward the end of December 2011.
During this period, the DCI obtained Amugune’s details from the National Registration Bureau, which indicated that he hailed from Kalulumi village in Ikolomani Location, Kakamega County.
Three officers led by constable Hillary Kamuyu visited Amugune’s rural home, where they were told he resided in Kawangware estate in Nairobi and were given a mobile phone number.
They obtained his photograph from his mother to assist them in identifying him.
The mobile number enabled service providers Safaricom to supply data that indicated that Amugune was in Kawangware.
Detectives went to his house but found it empty, and a visit to his local church also did not yield anything.
On the run for 11 months
The disbanded Flying Squad Unit was roped in to help trace Amugune and the detectives from the unit arrested him in September 2012 after being on the run for 11 months.
Pastor Maina was also arrested after Amugune implicated him, and both were charged with robbery with violence.
But the case was withdrawn before Amugune was rearrested in 2013 and charged with the murders of Amina Falzidin and Mohamed Afzal.
He denied the charges, and the trial was held before the then high court judge Jessie Lessit who found him guilty and sentenced him to hang on September 15, 2016.
The prosecution had called up more than 10 witnesses, including former Lang’ata DCI chief James Manuni.
Justice Lessit found that the fact that Amugune had gone into hiding for almost a year was circumstantial evidence that he was a guilty mind.
In his defence, Amugane told the court that he lived in Kawangware and worked as a preacher and was also a casual labour in the two deceased’s home in South C Estate where on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, his work was to clean the compound, wash three vehicles, and organise a store, for Sh300 a day.
He further claimed that his sister Leonida Amugune informed him that she had found him a job and that on Monday, October 24, 2011, he reported on duty at South C at 8am where Mr Anwar opened the gate for him.
Leave work between 3pm and 4pm
He added that he immediately went to Amina, the lady who employed him to inform her that he had another job and was required to report there at 11am --even though he would normally leave work between 3pm and 4pm after completing his work-- and his employer told him to clean the compound before leaving, an instruction with which he complied.
Amugane further stated that at 11am, he informed Amina that he was leaving, and he left her, Anwar and Afzal in the house --claiming that he came later to learn about the twin deaths when police went to his church and arrested himself and Pastor Maina.
Amugune is serving a death sentence after losing an appeal he had lodged before the court of appeal after appellate judges Kathurima M’inoti, Agnes Murgor, and Sankale Ole Kantai on September 25, 2020, dismissed it.
The judges upheld the conviction by Lady Justice Lessit and retained the penalty served on Amugune.
“Notwithstanding that we were not requested to review the sentence, we note that in its ruling, the trial court observed that the appellant specifically instructed his counsel not to mitigate on his behalf, and he did not himself mitigate,” the appellate judges ruled.
“This was despite the brutal and callous murder of the two deceased brother and sister. In view of the appellant’s unwillingness to mitigate and the clear absence of remorse, and taking into account the factors and circumstances of the case, we find that a review of the sentence of death to be unnecessary.”
This story first appeared on Nairobi News.