By Loise Wambugu in Nyeri County.
The father of a 26-year-old woman, who was on August 20, 2020 shot dead on Northern Bypass in Nairobi after a brief exchange of gunfire between police officers and her alleged abductors, now says he suspects a love triangle involving his firstborn child and two men led to her killing.
It was initially reported that Mary Wanjiru Mwangi was shot in the thigh and leg as police officers tried to rescue her from two men, who were attempting to rape her.
A report filed at Kasarani Police Station stated that Wanjiru was abducted from her house in Zimmerman, Nairobi and taken to a thicket in Nothern Bypass, where she was assaulted.
Wanjiru’s friend, identified only as Shiro, was the one who informed police that the 26-year-old had been kidnapped by two men.
The law enforcement officers tracked Wanjiru and her captors to Northern Bypass, where a shootout between the policemen and the suspects ensued.
In the resultant exchange of gunfire, Wanjiru was shot in the leg and thigh. One of the suspects, who was armed, managed to escape, whereas the other one was subdued and consequently arrested.
Wanjiru was taken to Jacaranda Maternity Hospital in Kahawa West, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
And now, even as probe into Wanjiru’s death hots up, her father, Joseph Mwangi Maina, says he suspects his daughter, who was previously married, got entangled with two men -- one of them being her ex-husband -- consequently, leading to her fatal shooting.
According to Maina, there was more to the abduction than just the kidnapper’s alleged intention of meting out sexual assault on his daughter.
Maina spoke with K24 Digital from his Kiaigi Village home in Tetu Constituency, Nyeri County.
“She (Wanjiru) was previously married in Isiolo, and got a child, who is now four years old. Recently, she and her husband broke up. On learning of their break-up, I drove to Isiolo and brought her home. After staying with us for two days, she said she found the Tetu life unbearable. On the third day, she left for Nairobi, though she did not tell me the kind of work she was going to do there. She had, however, told me that she was going to up at her cousin Carol’s place,” said Maina.
“After settling in the city, she called her mother and told her that she had gotten a waitress job in one of the hotels. I cannot authoritatively say that was what she was doing in Nairobi.
“In the course of this month (August), which is ending today (Monday, August 31), I came to learn that her ex-husband had begun seeing her again. He would visit her in Nairobi regularly.
“I strongly believe that my daughter had gotten into a new relationship after settling in the city. So, when the new lover learnt that Wanjiru was seeing another man besides him, he organised her abduction and subsequent killing. Maybe the new lover couldn’t stomach being spurned,” stated Mzee Maina.
“When I went to Nairobi to follow up on her case, and also bring her belonging back home, some youth, who live near where she stayed, told me that she had been employed as a wines and spirits shop attendant. Later, she left the job and started her own wines and spirits store next to her former employer’s shop. The two (Wanjiru and ex-employer) would argue time and again, forcing Wanjiru to close shop,” said Maina, urging authorities to deeply investigate whether a toxic love triangle contributed to Wanjiru’s death.
“Should it be established that love triangle was to blame for her death, then we, as parents, would now be in a better position to advise our young daughters on how to approach matters love,” he said.
Wanjiru’s mother, Jane Wairimu Mwangi, on the other hand, said the men who “abducted” Wanjiru were well known to her (Wanjiru).
“On the fateful day that my daughter was killed, she was in the company of three other people; her female friend, Shiro, and two youthful men. One of the men was my daughter’s friend and the other one was Shiro’s,” Wairimu told K24 Digital.
“After spending time together a better part of August 20 afternoon, the two men went and sandwiched my daughter before forcefully asking her to accompany them to an unspecified location. Her friend, Shiro, said she attempted to follow them, but the two men whipped out a gun and asked her (Shiro) to stay away.
“Shiro said that my while my daughter was walking away with the two men, she (deceased) said: ‘do not worry. They are not going to harm me because this weapon that they are carrying is a fake pistol’. The two men, thereafter, told my daughter: ‘we will confirm to you shortly that we are not walking around with a fake gun’.
“Shiro told me that she, thereafter, called DCI officers in Kasarani and narrated to them what had happened,” said Wairimu.
A search for the suspects, thereafter, began. The three (Wanjiru and the two men) were traced to a thicket in Northern Bypass, where a shootout ensued.
A police search on the scene yielded spent cartridges of a pistol and those of an AK47 rifle.
Police believe the man who escaped, triggered the shootout.
Two cops whose firearms discharged at the scene, were also disarmed and their weapons taken for ballistic analysis.
Nairobi police boss, Rashid Yakub, pledged thorough investigations into the circumstances surrounding Wanjiru’s death.