Puzzle of armed robber who fell in love with his victim

From right Kevin Matundura, Josephine Waihuni and Joram Njoroge when they appeared before court on February 14, 2018, for the hearing of their robbery with violence and sexual assault case. Matundura and Njoroge were convicted while Ms Waihini was acquitted. 

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

A breach of code by a member of an armed gang of robbers led to a botched robbery operation in Bahati, Nakuru County after the robber fell in love with one of his victims five years ago.

Witness accounts and analysis by the judge in the conviction of three robbery with violence suspects has revealed how one robber Kevin Matundura developed romantic feelings towards one of his victims during their 8 hours terror at a home.

Matundura’s feelings towards the victim, a house help in the home, which was under their siege, proved too costly for his gang members after it left them vulnerable.

The robbery happened on the night of March 14, 2017, when Matundura joined his gang of four for an operation in one of the estates in Bahati.

Their mission was to raid the homestead of one resident Mr James Wamugunda, a farmer and businessman who operated a posho mill in his compound.

At around 9 pm. the armed robbers invaded Mr Wamugunda’s home.

Two gang members went into the Posho mill where Mr Wamugunda was assessing his employee's day report while the other two entered the house through the backdoor.

Wielding pistols and AK47 guns, Matundura and his accomplice Joram Njoroge Wainaina alias Titus ordered Mr Wamugunda and his employee to lie down. They ransacked their pockets, took money and phones before Njoroge put on the employees' dust coat as he escorted them to the main house.

In the main house, the two other robbers had forced the occupants including Mr Wamugunda’s wife and the housemaid to also surrender to the floor. They then took their mobile phones.

The moment Matundura’s eyes landed on the house girl, he was instantly smitten and lost his focus on the robbery mission.

While the other gang members went on with beating up the victims and ransacking all corners of the house Matundura was busy soothing the woman assuring her of her safety.

After a long chat, he requested for the woman's contacts, which she gave to him.

By the time the robbers were leaving the house at 5 am the following morning, Matundura was already madly in love with the house help.

However, an action by his gang member Njoroge to sexually assault the woman seems to have seriously pissed off Matundura, who felt his efforts of winning the heart of the woman was being ruined.

The woman, who testified in court said Njoroge escorted her to the servants’ quarter where he sexually assaulted her. This was moments before the robbers left the house in the morning after having stashed stolen goods in Mr Wamugunda’s vehicle, which they used to escape.

The following day, Matundura reached out to the woman to apologize for the crimes the gang had committed and disclosed to her where they had left the vehicle they had stolen.

He continued to express his feelings towards the lady and even requested that they meet. The woman under the guidance of the Police agreed to the deal. 

In the company of detectives, she went to the meeting point at the Choices hotel in Mchanganyiko trading centre within Bahati sub county where police pounced on him.

Matundura confessed to having participated in the robbery incident and led the police to a farm where they had buried the guns and rounds of ammunition.

This was at the home of Njoroge’s aunt Josephine Waihini. Njoroge had also brought some of the stolen goods into the house.

Matundura, Njoroge and his aunt Waihini were all arrested and taken to court.

The three were charged with six counts relating to robbery with violence, handling of stolen goods, gang rape and possession of firearms and ammunition.

Among the stolen goods include sewing motor machine, 10 bags of maize, mobile phones assorted clothes, shoes and cash all valued at Sh102,000

Matundura was identified by the witnesses.

“One of the assailants stood out, he was in possession of an AK47 and helped her during the ordeal and assured her that all will be well. She described the said assailant as short, dark and thin. She identified him as the first accused (Matundura)” read part of the judgement by principal magistrate Yvonne Khatambi.

He was found guilty of robbery with violence and being in possession of firearms and ammunition without license.

Njoroge on the other hand was found guilty of robbery with violence as well as rape.

Ms Waihini was, however, acquitted of all charges after the court established that she was not aware that her nephew was criminal and neither did she take part in the robbery.

Matundura and Njoroge will be sentenced on January 23.