Leonard Thuo Mwithiga while appearing in a US court on Tuesday after being accused of of trying to hire a hitman to kill a family member.

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Ex-KCB top manager Leonard Mwithiga arrested in US trying to kill wife

What you need to know:

  • Leonard Thuo Mwithiga had proposed that he wanted the death of the family member now identified as the wife to be killed between January 28, 2024 and February 3, 2024.
  • Mwithiga was arrested and charged with a criminal offence.  

Leonard Thuo Mwithiga, 52, had a high-flying career at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) where he worked as the Group Shared Services Director. A calm corporate fixer and a man of few words, employees and close friends who know him told the Nation on Wednesday evening.

But beneath the latter, he had a killer mind when he desperately flew out of Kenya less than three months ago to the US looking for a hitman to kill the wife whom they had fallen out, only for the killer to leak his motive to the police.

''Yes it is true Leonard Mwithiga worked for Kenya Commercial Bank and held the same position you are talking about. He left the company a few months ago under Voluntary Early Retirement but I don’t want to discuss more about him because this is a criminal matter but not a bank issue,’’ a bank insider told the Nation in confidence on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.

Our interview with several banking sources who know Mr Mwithiga said he was on the trail of his wife, with whom he had fallen out and who had fled Kenya for America in fear of her life. He wanted her dead.

US-based NBC News, quoting court documents, reported on Tuesday that the informant revealed to police that Mwithiga who is aged 52 travelled to the United States and Kenya between September 9 and December 1 and asked him many times to offer his services to kill a family member.

On October 26, Mr Mwithiga is said to have contacted a fixer and asked him if he knew someone who could “hit” the family member describing the task ahead as “put that woman down.”

On November 3, Mr Mwithiga is said to have asked the informant if he knew anyone who could “hit” the woman and that he wanted someone to “finish her.”

On December 1, he asked the informant to hire a hitman and said it was OK if the target was injected with something that made her very sick, “like a cancer,” court documents reveal.

It is at this point that an undercover state trooper posed as the “hitman,” who was supposed to take the victim on a date and drug her, court documents reveal.

Mr Mwithiga had proposed that he wanted the death of the family member, now identified as the wife, to be killed between January 28, 2024 and February 3, 2024, after flying back to Kenya to conceal his role in the killing, court records reveal

Mr Mwithiga was arrested and charged with criminal attempt to intimidate a witness, conspiracy to murder, and criminal attempt to murder with special circumstances.

Mr Mwithiga, who has been staying at a Putnam hotel for the last month while he addresses legal matters, left his job in June and was planning to return to Kenya on Thursday, according to statements made in court.

Prosecutors argued that Mr Mwithiga has limited ties to the community and is a flight risk and asked for bond to be set at $5 million (Sh766.8 million).

Through his lawyer, Mr Mwithiga, who said he was a bank manager with a university degree in Kenya, maintained his innocence and asked that bail be set at $250,000 (Sh38 million).

The bond has been set at $5 million.

Mr Mwithiga was also ordered to surrender all firearms and keep his distance from any victims and/or witnesses.

If he posts bond, Mr Mwithiga must surrender his passport and cannot leave Connecticut. He would need to be on GPS monitoring and be on around-the-clock lockdown.

The next court date is set for January 26.