• Saturday, 22 June 2024
Kilifi: 'I will call you later,' said a woman to a friend before she was murdered

Kilifi: 'I will call you later,' said a woman to a friend before she was murdered

"On the evening of May 4, 2021, I called her twice, but she responded with a text message saying she would call me back later. That was the last I heard from her."

 

This is the testimony provided by Patronilah Kijana when she testified as a witness in the homicide case involving her friend Ngina Kitheka. Kitheka's remains were discovered concealed inside a closet at her residence in Mtwapa, Kilifi County, during the month of May in 2021.

 

The leading suspect in the murder case is Robert Waliaula Kinisu, who was previously convicted and given a death sentence in 2018 for a violent robbery. He is alleged to have committed the murder of Kitheka sometime between May 3 and May 6, 2021, and subsequently sold her belongings.

 

Kijana remembered her previous discussion with the person who had passed away before learning about their death. During her conversation with Justice Ann Ong'injo, she mentioned that it was unusual for Kitheka to not answer her call. According to Kijana's testimony, Kitheka had never ignored her calls or failed to reply to her text messages throughout their friendship, which spanned over a year. Kijana acknowledged that she had been anticipating Kitheka's call and had become engrossed in organizing funeral arrangements at her home in Bungoma while waiting for her friend to fulfill the promised callback.

After a span of three days, Kijana informed the court that she received a phone call from a friend named Monica, who revealed that Kitheka had been killed in her own residence.

"I was taken aback since she never permitted anyone to come into her house," stated the witness, describing Kitheka's usual practice.

 

The witness, who was 42 years old, mentioned that she encountered Kitheka at a club in Mtwapa back in 2020. They developed a strong friendship which persisted until the unfortunate passing of the witness.

 

While being questioned by Waliaula's lawyer, Derick Mwanzia, the witness stated that they used to meet at the club every evening, have a good time, leave together, and walk home. Additionally, they began exercising together every morning.

The witness mentioned that they would visit Kitheka's house, and from there, they would go to the rooftop of the apartment building where they would work out from 6 am to 7 am every day.

During their friendship, Kitheka informed the witness that she was involved in a relationship with a white man who was residing abroad.

The witness confirmed that they had never seen Kitheka with any man apart from one they met at a club in Mtwapa.

"Later on, the deceased informed me that this man expressed his desire to date her. She mentioned that he claimed to be a broker involved in selling motor vehicles and wanted to introduce her to the business," the witness recounted.

The witness advised her friend to be cautious about the unidentified man since many people who claimed to be brokers were actually swindlers.

"I cannot say for certain whether the deceased actually had a relationship with the man claiming to be a broker. However, I am aware that she had only one white man in her life. She didn't have many friends and preferred to keep her personal life private," the witness clarified, noting that Kitheka only allowed a select few people into her home.

In court, the witness positively identified Kitheka's belongings, which were recovered from Waliaula.

Another witness, Alfred Kombe, served as a security guard in the apartment complex where Kitheka resided.

"The deceased used to live alone. The last time I saw her, she left her room by herself at around 11 pm carrying a handbag, and she returned alone," he testified in court.

The witness confirmed that Kitheka was always alone when she left and returned to the house, and he had never seen her with a man.

According to the witness, he did not observe anyone who wasn't a tenant entering the compound or any of the rooms at night. As he worked during the night, he was unaware of the events during the day.

He expressed astonishment upon learning that Kitheka had been murdered inside her home. The property owner called him around 11 am, inquiring about his departure and well-being. The owner informed him about a foul smell emanating from one of the houses and instructed him to return.

Upon his return, the witness found police officers present in the compound. The deceased's room was locked, prompting the police to break the door and retrieve her body from the wardrobe. The deceased resided in the fourth unit on the ground floor.

During the court proceedings, David Ngumbao, an analyst from the Government Chemist, provided testimony based on a report. Ngumbao stated that Kitheka had not ingested any toxic substances before her death. Samples were collected from the stomach, its contents, liver, and kidney, and sent for analysis to determine if they contained any toxic substances that could have caused her death.

The witness confirmed that after conducting the analysis, he concluded that no toxic substances were found in the examined samples.

Furthermore, household items that were identified as belonging to Kitheka were discovered at a shop owned by Hamisi Mohamed.

 

The suspect in the murder case had brought the stolen items to Mohamed's store and exchanged them for cash. Mohamed, who testified in the case, positively identified Waliaula as the person who left the items at his shop in Mtwapa. The businessman concluded his testimony by confirming that it was Waliaula who sold him the stolen items from Kitheka's house for a price of Sh1,550, which he paid to the suspect through M-Pesa.

The stolen items consisted of a blender, iron box, juice mixer, and toaster. It has been established that these items were taken from Kitheka's house after she was murdered. Waliaula has denied being responsible for Kitheka's death.

According to the court proceedings, the suspect allegedly murdered the woman and concealed her body in a wardrobe at her residence in the Marina area of Mtwapa. He then took off with her valuable possessions, including her mobile phones. The body was discovered approximately three days after the murder.

In 2019, Waliaula was acquitted by the High Court for the violent robbery and killing of Janet Adhiambo Asuna, a model based in Mombasa, at her home in Kizingo.

The prosecution's case is expected to be concluded with the testimonies of Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor and two other crucial witnesses. The hearing will resume on July 7.

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