Monica murder: Jowie changed clothes at victim’s house


Joseph Irungu alias Jowie in court on November 21, 2019.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A police investigator on Thursday June 16 tabled various pieces of evidence in court in an attempt to link TV journalist Jacque Maribe and Joseph Irungu alias Jowie to the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani more than three years ago.

The investigating officer, Chief Inspector Maxwel Otieno, also told court that Mr Irungu changed clothes twice -- at the journalist’s place and at the victim’s house.

Mr Otieno said homicide detectives confiscated and investigated more than 40 items, including clothes, swabs of blood substances, DNA samples, a firearm and a bullet.

Monica Kimani

The late Monica Kimani in an undated photo.

Photo credit: Pool

While testifying before Justice Grace Nzioka at the High Court in Milimani as a prosecution witness, the officer produced seven pieces of clothing and one bullet taken from Ms Maribe’s house in Royal Park estate, Nairobi.

The items include a pair of khaki shorts, one brown short-sleeved T-shirt, a grey leather jacket, a grey suit, a blue/white jacket, a Nike shoe and a beige jacket.

During the search in the house, the officers found one 9mm bullet under the bed, the court heard.

“Officers from Kilimani police station were also present with Jowie in the house. We were informed he had a sling in the left arm and made inventory to state the items we recovered,” said Mr Otieno.

Asked why the police did an inventory of the items taken, the witness said they were looking for evidence that could connect Mr Irungu to the crime.

“We were looking for evidence of clothes he was wearing that day. We were subjecting the evidence to investigations. The information we had received was that he was at some point putting on a khaki greyish trouser, a darkish T-shirt, red cap and a white kanzu. At some point while at Lamuria he was wearing a kanzu and a greyish jacket,” said the witness.

Mr Irungu and Ms Maribe are charged with the murder of the businesswoman on September 19, 2018.

Kimani was found dead at her house in Lamuria Gardens Apartment in Kilimani, off Dennis Pritt Road. She had just arrived from Juba, South Sudan, where she was doing business.

According to the prosecution witness, Mr Irungu visited Kimani at her house shortly after she arrived. He was dressed in a maroon cap, a grey coat and a white kanzu, he said, adding that she introduced him to her neighbour as a security person.

The witness added that the investigating officers made an inventory of one maroon cap, one mobile phone belonging to Mr Irungu and Ms Maribe’s motor vehicle.

“I was informed that the identified motor vehicle was the one used by Jowie to a vicinity close to murder scene. From Roadhouse Grill, he drove through a place towards Lenana where there are taxis. He took a taxi, which drove him to Lamuria Gardens,” said Mr Otieno.

In another inventory dated September 25, 2018, he said he was handed a postpartum form by the investigators. It indicated the businesswoman had a severe neck injury due to sharp forced trauma.

Samples collected from the victim for DNA and toxicological analysis included blood, vaginal swab, liver, kidney, nails and hair.

“On September 26, I was also handed over the exhibit memo prepared by officers from Kilimani Police forwarding the exhibits to the Government Chemist. A request was made for full toxicology and DNA analysis. We also did a request to DCI Kilimani for the vehicle to remain at the parking yard for full analysis,” he stated.

From the car, the investigators picked 22 items for forensic examination, said Mr Otieno. The officers took swabs from the steering wheel, gear and back seat belt.

They also picked a pair of brown ladies’ shoes, a black hairband, black woven gloves, one black sock, black/white woven glove, a pair of hair weave and a pillow case.

“These were the items recovered from the car to subject them to forensic examination in terms of DNA in anything that will relate and assist the investigations,” he stated.

From Kimani’s house, he said the officers collected a total of 17 items. They include swabs of blood inside the house, which were forwarded to the Government Chemist. They also picked a plastic bottle and a navy blue shirt.

In his investigations, Mr Otieno said he discovered that the businesswoman had moved to live with her father, Mr Paul Kimani Ngarama, in Juba in 2016. Mr Kimani was working as a businessman in the second hand clothes trade. He was also a newspaper vendor.

While in Juba, she briefly worked at the Kenyan embassy for three months since she was studying international relations at the Kenya Polytechnic at the time.

She and her father had formed a company -- Milly Paul General Trading Company -- in which they had co-opted her brother George Thiru as a director. The company had won a tender for cleaning services with UAP Insurance at Equatorial Towers building.

In the same year her father returned to Kenya following civil war in South Sudan, leaving Kimani as the managing director of the company.

On September 19, 2018, Kimani flew from Juba and landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 5.30pm, where she took a taxi.

On her way to her house, she instructed the driver to temporary stop and she gave a parcel to Mr Dennis Wanjala Maina before continuing to her house.

The case was adjourned to July 11.