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How I helped mistress dump wife’s body

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By ERIC WAINAINA
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Detectives believe they are on the trail of a complex tale of money, love, blackmail and murder as they try to piece together the last moments of Mary Wambui Kamangara, the businesswoman whose lifeless body was retrieved from a dam nearly two weeks ago.

This follows the interrogation of Michael Githae Mathenge, a car-hire services operator, who on Friday led police to a thicket in Ruiru where evidence key to resolving the mysterious death of Ms Kamangara was recovered.

Ms Kamangara was killed in the house of her husband Joseph Kori Karue’s mistress, Judy Wangui Mungai, on Saturday January 26 under circumstances that are yet to be fully established.

Detectives initially went with the lead given by Ms Mungai that she and Mr Karue were at the scene of the murder. Later, detectives removed Mr Karue from the scene without exonerating him following their tracking of his phone signal and vehicle.

Mr Mathenge also appeared to remove Mr Karue from the scene during interrogation in custody after he was arrested on Monday.

Basing his narration on what Ms Mungai also apparently told him, Mr Mathenge said Ms Mungai killed Ms Kamangara by hitting her on the forehead with a pressure cooker.

Mary Wambui's murder

Michael Githae Mathenge, suspect in Mary Wambui’s murder, at the Kiambu Kaw Courts on February 6, 2019. PHOTO | ERIC WAINAINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

This is in line with post mortem findings, seen by Nation, that Ms Kamangara’s was hit with a blunt object nine times before being suffocated.

She died of brain concussion, the report concluded, with the skull having been crushed by between two and seven centimetres.

This contrasts sharply with the version Ms Wangui earlier gave the police suggesting that Mr Karue hit his wife with the butt of his gun.

Detectives are treating Mr Mathenge’s testimony with suspicion as he also sought to extricate him from blame, saying Ms Mungai blackmailed him into helping her dispose of the body from her apartment at Fourways Junction Estate.

Ms Mungai had earlier told detectives that after Mr Karue killed his wife, he gave her Sh2 million to buy her silence.

Detectives are now grappling with which version of the events, both told by Ms Mungai to different people in different circumstances, comes close to unravelling what happened that night.

Friday, Mr Mathenge led detectives to a thicket in Ruiru where he and Ms Mungai dumped the items used to dispose of the body. The clothes used to wrap the body in and a baby seat were recovered from the scene.

Missing, however, was the pressure cooker and a carpet that Mr Mathenge told police was spread on the back seat of the deceased’s Mercedes car where the body was laid on the way to disposal. In what would be an indictment of the lax manning of road blocks, Mr Mathenge told detectives they passed a police check at Kamiti Corner and they were waved on with only insurance being checked.

According to Mr Mathenge, police said, he went to Ms Mungai’s residence at Fourways Junction at 00:07 on her invitation, almost six hours after Ms Mungai and the deceased arrived there and started arguing over the love triangle involving Mr Karue.

Ms Wambui was apparently bitter after she found her husband’s photos hanging on the wall in the house with furnishings identical to those in their family home at Safari Park Gardens Estate.

Mary Kamangara and her husband Joseph Kori

The late Mary Wambui and her husband Joseph Kori. PHOTO | ERIC WAINAINA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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A detective privy to the investigations said Ms Wambui reportedly demanded that Ms Mungai surrenders the logbook of her car — a Mercedez Benz identical to hers — saying she had heard her husband bought her the car.

A fight ensued and a knife that the two wrestled over was among the items recovered at the thicket around the Tatu City area. Police have taken the knife together with other items for forensic examination.

It is then that Ms Mungai, according to Mr Mathenge, rushed to the kitchen and picked a pressure cooker which she hit the deceased with on the head before strangling her with her hands.

She then took bed sheets and covers, wrapped the body and placed it inside the kitchen. Police suspect this may have happened at 20:20 hrs.

According to the CCTV footage retrieved from Fourways Junction, Ms Mungai left the estate at 21:54 using Ms Wambui’s car to Homeland Inn where the two women had earlier revelled in the afternoon.

According to police sources she wanted to pick a Toyota Allion, registration number KCE which had been hired out by Mr Mathenge and which she had left there as Ms Kamangara drove her to Fourways Junction. However, security guards declined to allow her to leave with the car because she did not have a gate pass.

“She parked the Mercedes car behind Homeland Inn and used a taxi to return to Fourways Junction where she arrived at 23:00 hours,” a detective told SaturdayNation.

It was around that time she is reported to have called Mr Mathenge to her residence. He told detectives that Ms Mungai had called him earlier in the day promising him some work later in the night.

Mr Mathenge, who owns a car hire company, drove to Ms Mungai’s residence at 00:07 hrs using a Toyota Noah, registration series KCK.

The vehicle had been missing since before it was driven to Juja police station by someone who had hired it after learning it was being looked for by the police.

Driving in the Toyota Noah, the two returned to Homeland Inn but the security guards stood their ground. Ms Mungai picked the deceased‘s car and they both returned to Fourways at 01:28 hrs with the two cars. By this time, the two, according to Mr Githae’s account to police, had agreed on where the body would be disposed of and how they would ferry it.

“The Mercedes Benz was driven near the apartment stairs and, according to what Mr Mathenge has said, they both carried the body from the kitchen and placed it in the back,” a detective said on Friday.

A baby seat fixed at the back seat of Ms Mungai’s car was removed and placed at the passenger’s seat next to the driver to accommodate the body.

Using the Kiambu-Kamiti-Ruiru Road the two cars followed each other and at a roadblock at the Kamiti road junction, Mr Mathenge’s car was searched but not Ms Mungai’s.

Mr Mathenge said they drove to Mugutha, where the body was found on Sunday, January 27. Ms Mungai contemplated plunging the car with the body to the dam but later changed her mind.

While on their way back, they stopped at Gitambaya between Ruiru and Kiambu where, according to Mr Mathenge, Ms Mungai threw away the murder weapon, the beddings which had been used to wrap the body and the baby’s seat in a thicket.

They then proceeded to wards Githunguri through the Kirigit-Riabai Road where, along the way, they threw away a blood-stained carpet before proceeding to Kwa-Maiko Trading Centre where they abandoned the deceased’s car which was recovered two days later.



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General

Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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