The men who killed a Kenya Broadcasting Corporation senior editor, Betty Barsa, in Oloolua Ngong on the night of April 7 were in constant communication with unknown people over the phone, police have revealed.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) sleuths believe that the yet unidentified people were part of a well-planned murder plot.
The killers were heavily armed with two AK-47 rifles and a G3 rifle and had subdued other family members before they executed the KBC producer.
Detectives now say that the robbery does not seem to have been an ordinary one, rather it bears the hallmarks of a mission to kill.
According to family members, Ms Barasa drove home in a Toyota Prado and while at the gate, she was confronted by the three armed thugs.
Her househelp, who was opening the gate, fled after she saw the three men and disappeared within the poorly lit compound.
But Ms. Barasa drove a few metres to the parking lot where she was ordered by the gunmen to alight from the car.
One of the couple’s children, who had accompanied the house help to the gate, screamed and ran back to the house on seeing the armed gangsters.
The child’s strange reaction, police said, prompted Ms. Barasa’s husband to get out of the house to confirm what was happening.
After realizing the househelp had fled the compound, the thugs appeared restless fearing she would raise the alarm.
Still, the armed men ransacked the house robbing the family of a laptop valued at Sh90,000 and two mobile phones among other valuables
The deceased’s husband, Geoffrey Barasa Namachanja, the Head of Finance at the National Museum of Kenya, said the three men were all wearing masks and industrial gloves.
Barasa told People Daily that the gunmen returned his wallet after they realized it had only his national identity card and an ATM card.
“They told everyone to lie down and frogmarched my wife upstairs,” he said.
The deceased repeatedly begged the gangsters to spare her life as they frogmarched her upstairs. They again took him around the house, insisting they wanted money, and even robbed him of his wedding ring.
“One of them, holding the weapon on my neck, ordered me to lift my left hand. I did and he removed the wedding ring. That was when I heard two gunshots. The thug who was outside made a call and said they had ‘finished the work’,” Barasa said.
It was not immediately established what transpired before she was shot.
During the ordeal, the gunmen took strategic positions with one of them taking the deceased upstairs as the other two watched over the husband and the couple’s three children.
As they were leaving, they took him to the kitchen and warned him not to raise any alarm.
“After securely locking the doors, I rushed upstairs and found my wife already dead, in a pool of blood,” Barasa said.
Kajiado North Sub-County commander Rashid Mohammed said that it was not an ordinary robbery, adding that a joint team of detectives had launched investigations.
“There might be more to this robbery than what we already know,” he said.
In most cases, force is used when the victims resist or threaten to fight back or raise alarm. According to experts, the most obvious motive of murder is usually to hide a secret, like in a case where the deceased probably stumbled upon a closely guarded secret.
The residence is located in Oloolua, around Amani Trading Centre, not very far from the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Police suspect the attackers hid inside a building under construction next to the deceased’s residence as they waited for her to arrive home.
On Thursday, Ms. Barasa’s long-time colleague and veteran journalist Bonnie Musambi termed the death as “devastating. Everyone at KBC is still in shock.”
Detectives on Thursday revisited the scene and recovered the deceased’s phone within the compound. The killing of Ms. Barasa is the latest in a string of strikingly similar gruesome murders involving women in less than two months.
On Friday, February 12, Caroline Wanjiku Maina 38 was kidnapped and murdered before her body was found in a mortuary in Kajiado County.
Exactly a month later, on Friday, March 12, the former National Land Commission (NLC) Communications Director Jenniffer Wambua 46, was kidnapped before her body was later found in Ngong area within the same county.
According to detectives privy to the murder of Ms Maina, she disappeared the same day she withdrew Sh350,000 from Cooperative Bank before she proceeded to Ngara to meet one of the suspect’s in the case, Edwin Otieno Oduor for a business deal.