KENYA – What would become a high profile murder case started before the crack of dawn. 5:05 am, a Silver Toyota Fielder with registration number KBX 126X is captured by the highway cameras joining the Thika Super Highway from Kahawa West.
The car was seen next on Forest Road and then Waiyaki Way. It was captured on camera at around ABC place at 5:21 am. Then it went to Kabete passed through Uthiru to Kinoo. The man behind the wheel is Joseph Muiruri. Here, the he picked up the lawyer The next time the car was spotted on the camera it was on Langata Road at 6:28 am. It joined Mombasa road and proceeded to Mlolongo en route to the Mavoko Law Courts, by which time, there were 3 people on board.
Josephat Mwenda, the man who was facing drug trafficking charges but who accused a Senior Police Sergeant at the Syokimau AP Post of framing him over personal differences was the third passenger.
The lawyer and driver were both employees of the American Charity group, International Justice Mission, which was giving Mwenda free legal aid in the case in which he accused the police officer of planting drugs on him after allegedly shooting him.
The last of the highway cameras to capture the car was at Mlolongo at 7:44 am. It was the last of cameras on the highway. The court session reportedly started at 10:45 and lasted slightly over an hour. At this very compound, where justice is served, their kidnap is suspected to have been executed in broad daylight.
That the court’s CCTV cameras were not functional worked in favor of the henchmen who apparently held the taxi driver before the lawyer and client walked out of court.
Investigators handling the case revealed to Citizen TV on condition of anonymity that the phone data of the three victims shows that their phones went off in intervals of about 20 minutes.
The driver’s was the first to go off. At 11:51 am, the lawyer called someone in the office, and then at 11:52, a minute later, his phone went off. They were forced into a car, but it’s not clear whether it was the same car they had used.
The next time their car was captured by the highway camera, it was half past midday with only one person on board. It was spotted on Mombasa road near Cabanas and then it took Langata road and on to Kikuyu through the by-pass. It would later be found abandoned.
Investigators believe it was a plan to throw them off-track. Instead, they should have been looking here, at the Syokimau AP post.
With no cameras on this part of the road and their phones switched off, their trail had gone cold. A message on a tissue paper would reveal their destination.
What we do know from sources is that when the trio arrived here, they were searched and electronics taken away from them, but apparently, the lawyer had a pen and a little piece of tissue paper in his pocket. It was the only way they could reach out to the world outside. He wrote a note and motioned to a passing motorbike rider through those grills to pick his note.
But as we found out, they were constantly being watched through a hole on the cardboard separating them from this office.
Still, Kimani managed to scribble a note instructing the recipient to contact his wife through the number provided to tell her that they were in danger. Kimani had wanted the wife to inform his office of their situation.
“Call my wife through this number, tell her we are in danger, and that she informs my office (IJM),” read the note.
To give weight to the tissue paper, he broke the aluminum cover of the electric socket and inserted it there before throwing it out. The motorbike rider promptly picked it up and after reading the contents sent ‘please call me’ messages to the lawyer’s wife.
When she didn’t call, he reportedly borrowed some Ksh20 to call her, still she didn’t pick up calls from the strange number. She called back much later and was given the message.
Investigators believe the message was written at around 4 pm, but suspect the trio was held until nightfall. It is then that they may have been transported to another location where they were then murdered the same night.
But it wasn’t until 4 days after they disappeared, that their, bodies wrapped in gunny bags, surfaced in the Ol Donyo Sabuk River in Kilimambogo in Thika.
The bodies were badly decomposed but investigators apparently want them x-rayed before the autopsy is conducted.
In the meantime, there has been a change of guard at the Syokimau police post following the arrest of Senior Sergeant Fredrick Leliman who was the officer in charge and officers Stephen Chebulet, a Corporal and Sylvia Wanjiku a Constable over the murder.
They are listed as the prime suspects in this murder case and are expected to be arraigned in court on Monday according to a statement by the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.