By Cyrus Ombati and Roselyn Obala
Television journalist Jacque Maribe presented herself to police yesterday in an attempt to clear her name in the ongoing probe into the murder of Monicah Nyawira Kimani.
Ms Maribe, who was accompanied by her parents and lawyer Katwa Kigen, was interrogated for almost one hour at the Kilimani Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices before she was referred to the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road.
Maribe told police she was in shock and had sought refuge at her parents’ house after learning that her fiancé, Joseph Kuria Irungu, was being linked to the September 19 murder of Ms Monica Kimani.
Kimani’s body was found in a bathtub in her Kilimani apartment, with her throat slit. Maribe told police she did not know Kimani, adding that she had even read the news of her death the night it happened.
According to police, Maribe said Mr Irungu had not informed her of what had happened. She also told police she had once seen Irungu with a gun in her house but had not seen it again after she warned him not to keep it in the house.
The gun’s ownership was one of several issues police wanted Maribe to clarify. She told police she and Irungu met in a city club early this year. They fell in love and he later asked her to marry him.
She added that Irungu often used her car and would drop her at work and pick her up. When police went to pick up Irungu from the couple’s Royal Park estate home in Lang’ata, the two were in the house. Police later searched the house and recovered a live bullet, which has since been taken for ballistic tests.
Detectives also believe Irungu was in illegal possession of the pistol that Maribe saw, but are yet to trace it. Then there is the mystery of where Irungu lives away from Maribe’s house. The detectives also said they were yet to recover his identification documents, including his passport.
Maribe told police that on September 21, Irungu arrived at her house and said he had been shot and injured. She then drove him to different hospitals seeking medical attention.
The journalist’s car, a silver Toyota Allion, was yesterday dusted for fingerprints by detectives from the homicide unit. The officers said they found bloodstains in the car as well as hoes, beer cans, a weave and clothes. The team also searched Kimani’s apartment in Lamuria Gardens off Dennis Pritt Road and carried away a number of samples for testing and analysis. But the officers are yet to recover the clothes Irungu was wearing when he says he was shot in the chest. They have also not recovered the ‘kanzu’ he was wearing when he was spotted in Kimani’s apartment.
After the alleged shooting, Maribe and Irungu told police they went to Nairobi West, Lang’ata and Kijabe Mission hospitals. But they also gave contradictory statements on the shooting – they initially said the attack happened in the house but later said it was outside. It is not clear whether Maribe stuck to her initial story yesterday because she was still with detectives until late evening.
Irungu is said to have told police he had arrived at the estate at about 1.30am on September 21 in the company of Maribe when he spotted three men standing outside their gate. He entered the house but left to go and check why the strangers were hanging around.
Irungu told police that one of the men shot him in the left side of the chest before fleeing on a motorbike. They did not steal anything from him. He returned to the house and told Maribe what had happened. But police say preliminary findings show no shooting was reported at the scene. Guards and neighbours interviewed told police they did not hear a gunshot. Maribe also told police she did not hear any gunshots. Police are also waiting for a medical report to establish if Irungu’s injury was caused by a bullet.