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Enter Grace: Kori left me for Mary in 2010, but I will still stand by him

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He packed his belongings on October 24, 2010 and left her as she cried and begged him to allow her to pray for him one more time.

She knew he was leaving her for another woman, but still asked him never to forget how far they had come together.

Grace Wanjiku Kariuki would next see her husband nine years later; not physically, but on TV screens. He was behind the well of a court, wan and haggard, and, to make matters worse, accused of murder.

As Joseph Kori Karue bowed his head in shame before a Kiambu court on Tuesday this week, standing next to a woman believed to be his latest mistress, Grace was inside her small house in Kayole, watching the man she once loved soak in the police accusations of conspiring with his mistress to kill the woman he left Grace for.

“I was shocked beyond words,” she said yesterday. “I was called by one of my aunts, who asked me if I had heard what had happened to my estranged husband. I saw the video clips of him in court, wiping his tears next to a woman I knew nothing about, accused of the worst crime under the sun.”

She had reached out to him last week, asking him to send money to pay school fees for their 11-year-old daughter. He did not respond to her message, but she was sure he would do so later, like he always did.

 

Grace Wanjiku Kariuki breaks down into tears, she alleges to be the first wife to Joseph Kori during the interview at Queen B Botique shop at Kayole Corner,Nairobi. January 31, 2019. Picture Kanyiri Wahito

Theirs was love brewed in Kayole, where the two first lived as they struggled to make ends meet. Kori was a rice trader while Grace ran a small clothes business. She told of a man who knows how to love and could not stand to see someone get hurt.

“We met through a mutual friend and immediately fell in love, and after some time we decided to move in together. Our first rented home was a single room where we paid Sh1,500 in monthly rent. We later moved to another house where we paid Sh1,800 per month,” she said.

READ ALSO:   Murder: Kori offered 'mpango wa kando' millions to shut up

Because of the kind of business he was in, Kori used to travel to Mwea regularly and moved from retail shop to retail shop marketing it. She discontinued her business to join her husband in the rice trade, which she felt was more promising.

“Later, an uncle who lives in Nakuru invited us for a visit, and during our stay there, Kori’s aunt introduced us to timber business. We had some savings, including Sh100,000 in my bank account, and we contributed to start the timber business.”

Soon the business grew, says Grace, forcing them to employ casuals as they still lived in Nairobi. Their plan was to open another timber yard in the city.

Within no time, Kori was swimming in money as furniture companies started sourcing timber from him, but the icing on the cake was when he won a tender to supply electricity power line poles to the Rural Electrification Authority.

“With the newfound money, we moved to a two-bedroom house and even employed a maid because I was expecting our first child — a boy I later lost to still birth,” Grace said. “We even bought our first car, a Toyota Premio.”

A past picture of Grace Wanjiku Kariuki with a man alleging to be Joseph Kori during the interview with her at Queen B Botique shop at Kayole Corner,Nairobi. January 31, 2019. Picture Kanyiri Wahito

In 2008, and with the future looking up, Kori formally asked Grace’s parents, who also lived in Kayole, for her hand in marriage.

“Like any other couple, we had downtimes in our marriage, but we dealt with them amicably. He used to encourage me to work hard and assured me that he would never leave me because we had struggled together and managed to upgrade our lives,” Grace said. Unapproachable

Her husband, she said, started drifting away after she gave birth to their daughter. He started being cagey, always receiving calls she suspected were from a woman, switching off the mobile phone whenever he was home, and generally being moody and almost unapproachable.

“He would go to Nakuru and spend days without coming home like he used to. He generally just changed his character, but denied every time I asked him if he was having an affair. One day I received a text message from a woman who identified herself as Mary Wambui Kamangara. She told me that she wanted to confirm to me that she was the woman in my husband’s life,” Grace said.

READ ALSO:   How I helped mistress dump wife’s dead body, man confesses to role in Wambui murder

“I called her and told her to stop dating my husband, and informed her we had a daughter together. She called my husband, who asked me to apologise to her, telling me that she was the one who had given us the timber contracts. I did so.”

She said their affair grew from bad to worse when, one day, Kori drove to Nakuru straight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi soon after arriving into the country from a foreign trip, ignoring Grace and their daughter.

“Later, I met his friend in Nairobi and he asked me why I had not attended our house warming party in Nakuru.

“I discovered that my husband had secretly bought a house and Mary had moved in. When I asked him, he denied that Mary was living in the house and told me that he was furnishing it and we would move in soon,” Grace said.

In the meantime, Mary kept calling Grace, coolly confirming to her that she was already living with Kori and claiming they were already married.

“I was hurt. I did not know what to do. When I tried to protest, she asked me to go to Nakuru so that we could parade ourselves and let Kori choose whom he wants. I used to cry day and night until neighbours and friends nicknamed me ‘Mama wa Kulia’. I went into depression. My daughter and I were all alone.

“On October 24, 2010, I lost him completely. He came to the house and packed all his stuff, including documents, and left. I tried everything to make him stay, but he had made up his mind.

“He was in a hurry, but after a long period of persuasion, I grabbed his hands, put them together between my palms, and prayed for him. I knew he was leaving me for another woman, but I told him I would always pray for him,” Grace said from her Kayole shop yesterday.

READ ALSO:   Fourth woman in Kori love life emerges, says they have a son

Kori, she added, never visited her and their daughter again, but he would send a cheque to the child’s school for fees.

“My daughter has been asking about her father but I have always lied to her that he went to the US. One day, she said she would not eat because she was fasting for her father to return from America. She stares at our pictures and says she misses her father, even though she was only three when he left us,” she said.

She said that, after Kori left, she spent most of her time in church, praying that she would forgive her estranged husband and Mary. Five years ago she finally decided to let go, to move on with her life and stop fighting to get his love back, but requested him to help with school fees and books.

Their communication, she said, started revolving around their daughter’s fees, books, uniform and medication, although Mary would send her provoking pictures and messages.

“I blocked all avenues of trying to dig into how Mary and Kori lived. I just did not want to hear anything about their affair. I only heard about Mary’s murder and about the other woman on Monday. I am still in shock.”

Since the news about the murder broke, she said, many questions have crossed her mind. What if I was in his life? Would I have been the one murdered? What will happen to his children now? What exactly happened, and who is this other woman?

My daughter’s brother

“It has been a mixture of emotions. I have always prayed to God to fight for me, but never in my wildest imagination did I wish death on Mary. She may have abused me several times, but I have never wanted her dead. I am a mother and she bore a child whose veins carry the same blood as my daughter’s. Her son is my daughter’s brother,” she said.

Grace said she will stand with her husband now that he needs her the most, because she still loves him and, even though he left, she forgave him.

“The court will decide whether he is guilty or innocent, but I will stand by him. He is the father of my child and he taught me love after I experienced animosity from an abusive stepfather. He is still the only man I love. When I saw him in court, I saw a man overwhelmed by circumstances.”

He needs help.”

Source: Daily Nation

 

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The day Eric Kiraithe went to evict Wangusi out of the Lavington home

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Former police spokesperson Eric Kiraithe quietly arrived at the official residence of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) the previous week on Friday.

The home, tucked away on a one-and-a-half acre plot near Valley Arcade, in Nairobi’s Lavington area, is the last battleground between Francis Wangusi, the former CA Director-General and his parent ministry.

Accompanied by at least a dozen police officers, Mr Kiraithe’s mission was to evict Mr Wangusi, who has been a thorn in the flesh for Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.

On a good day, the eviction squad could have found Wangusi seated below a shade, at the back of the house overlooking the garden, sipping on any of his favourite drinks, as he watched free-range chicken and other birds roam the expansive compound.

But Mr Kiraithe, who was early this year appointed the ICT Principal Administrative Secretary, soon realised he had picked a bad day to kick Mr Wangusi out of the spacious residence.

He found locked doors and his men had to squeeze through the fence to access the premise to pin a notice on the house asking Wangusi one more time to pack and leave. Mr Wangusi was sick and recovering at Nairobi Hospital on the day his tormentors came calling.

He had defied the first vacation notice dated August 19, which had given him up to September 22 to quit. And to make true their threat, the board withdrew the security services extended to Mr Wangusi among them guards from Lavington Security Limited and deactivated the alarm backup response to the premises.

Just why Mr Wangusi would not leave and spare himself the embarrassment of having to be kicked out by police, no one knows. He told this writer he just needed a little more time to leave and he had been sick, so any employer who is not so cruel would not throw out a man who has just been released from hospital.

But more importantly, he said, the human resources manual allowed a retired member of staff three months to terminate the tenancy agreement of any house occupied, but CA out of malice had given him a 30-day notice.

“They (CA board) want to embarrass me and treat me unfairly. They wrote to me to vacate within 30 days despite the authority’s human resource manual clearly stipulating that a member of staff deemed to have retired from service shall be given a period of three months to terminate tenancy of any house,” Mr Wangusi says in his written response.

He was also putting finishing touches to his house in Karen and would be out of the residence long before the CA completed the recruitment of the next person to occupy the place. Then there was no one to hand over to, so why the hurry?

Mr Wangusi, 61, loves his drink and fiercely speaks his mind freely. He was first appointed CA boss on August 21, 2012. Had he been home that day, his goose could have been cooked.

But as soon as he got wind of the eviction party at his official residence, Mr Wangusi activated his agile lawyers, who immediately rushed to court seeking orders to stop the eviction.

A cat of nine lives, Mr Wangusi has survived several attempts to kick him out of the cash-rich communications regulator. The fiercest came in February last year when he fell out with his boss, the ICT secretary, over the handling of a case between Airtel, which the agency lost.

READ ALSO:   Wambui suffered an extremely painful death, she took nine killer blows to the head, was suffocated: AUTOPSY 

He would also refuse to give the ministry money to run its activities from his surplus. He also pulled a shocker when he refused President Kenyatta Sh1 billion from the USF to help police fight cybercrime. He would defy the order on grounds that he had no such money to offer. All this defiance made him a marked man. Mr Wangusi would, one morning, wake up to find he had been sent on forced leave.

He fought his way back through the corridors of justice and forced the CA to resort to an out-of-court settlement in a deal that allowed him to serve the remaining bit of his term.

How he would imagine that he would stay one more day at the agency after the end of his term is as puzzling as the request itself.

Mr Wangusi also made his name when he pushed through the digital migration and stood his ground against the media, causing great losses to local companies.

Now even at his retirement, he is not getting out of the agency he has worked for the past two decades without a fight.

At stake is at least Sh23 billion sitting in various accounts of the communications regulator at a time when the government is broke.

About Sh9 billion is in the Universal Service Fund (USF) — a kitty set up to fund mobile network expansion to far-flung rural areas that do not make business sense for telcos.

The fund is administered by CA and has been a target by national government of diversion of funds. The remaining Sh14 billion is held in other conventional accounts of the agency and getting more than Sh20 million requires the signature of the director-general.

Mr Wangusi’s official last day at the communications agency was on August 21, 2019 after a second and final term of four years as DG.

But four months later, the space scientist is yet to officially hand over his office following a series of board blunders and missteps at the agency that have characterised CA over the last few years.

Either by design or coincidence, Mr Wangusi has been the biggest beneficiary of the blunders that have seen him remain in office. He maintains that he vacated office. In fact, he swears that he retired peacefully, but as a law-abiding citizen, his handover must be above board.

Smart Company now goes behind the scenes of boardroom wars that have stalked CA in the last three months and the dramatic exit of Mr Wangusi, in another season of board composition standoff.

Several days before his term officially came to an end, Mr Wangusi wrote to the CA board chairman Ben Gituku seeking guidance on the way forward. He said in the letter that he was in a dilemma given that on one end, his final term was coming to an end, but on the other, he had orders from the labour court, which according to his interpretation, allowed him to stay put until the authority puts in place a substantive board.

Without a properly constituted board, any appointments by the CA board, according to Mr Wangusi, would have been illegal.

Though the orders were separately sought by the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) and activist Okiya Omtatah, the CA believed that Mr Wangusi was behind the suit, claims he denies.

It’s easy to see why the board felt Mr Wangusi had sponsored the court action. In the Omtatah petition, the activist asked for the court to allow Mr Wangusi to file an affidavit to show his willingness to continue in office and the basis of such willingness.

READ ALSO:   How I helped mistress dump wife’s dead body, man confesses to role in Wambui murder

Besides, the CA board had its own interpretation of the same court order, and for them, the labour court had only stopped them from appointing a new DG and the status quo order did not mean he would be staying.

“The court ordered and gave directions that the “status quo” relating to the recruitment of the director-general be extended,” the CA said in a statement to the media.

“The court specifically pronounced itself on the import and effect of the order of status quo, to mean that it was in relation to recruitment of the director-general and not the extension of the term of office of the former director-general,” the communications regulator said.

The agency said it was necessary to clarify what it termed as media misrepresentations of the August 27 court order. The CA said Mr Wangusi had served his term and it was time to exit.

Two days to the end of Mr Wangusi’s contract, Mr Gituku wrote back, making it clear that the board did not intend to keep him around one day longer, irrespective of the court ruling and the lack of legal quorum at the board.

“As you are aware, the four years employment contract commenced on 22/8/2015 and hence will end on 21/8/2019, this being your last employment date at CA,” Gituku said in the letter.

“You will also note that clause No. 6 of the appointment letter indicated that the contract shall not be renewable since you were serving a second term,” Mr Gituku added. He spelt out that Mr Wangusi will be paid a service gratuity and a retirement token in line with the HR policy manual.

But first, Mr Wangusi had to complete a clearance certificate and return it alongside any other assets that were in his care before the retirement date.

Most importantly, Mr Wangusi was required to surrender his signing mandate, which would allow the CA board to appoint the next DG.

Before this letter, Mr Wangusi in his signature abrasive leadership style had used the vacuum in the board to make an unprecedented decision.

He had technically appointed the officer who will act in his place after his exit. His preferred successor until CA appointed a substantive board was Mr Juma Kandie, the HR boss.

“I write to inform you that I have left Mr Juma Kandie, director — human capital and administration, to hold brief and take care of all matters that relate to the office of the director-general including procurement matters,” Mr Wangusi said in a letter to the CA board on August 21, his last day in office.

For the avoidance of doubt as to his intention, he wrote a similar memo to the rest of staff.

That is when all hell broke loose. There is no precedent for such an action, at least not among Kenyan parastatals where once the term of the chief executive nears an end, the practice is to pack and go for terminal leave, three months before due date, to give the board a chance to recruit a suitable replacement.

Mr Wangusi’s action also served as another move to embarrass the ICT ministry, which was already smarting from an unfavourable court decision.

It did not also go down well with the CA board as events that would follow revealed.

The following day, what was left of the authority’s board met quickly and picked Mrs Mercy Wanjau, a commercial lawyer and the legal director at CA to the corner office.

READ ALSO:   Murder: Kori offered 'mpango wa kando' millions to shut up

At the meeting were Mr Gituku, ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng, Festus King’ori, an alternate director to the National Treasury PS and Mr Peter Wanjohi, the alternate director representing the Interior PS and the CA director consumer and Public Affairs, Mr Christopher Wambua.

It is this composition of the board that misses independent directors, that has been making decisions at CA that have been easily overturned by the courts as it is a one-sided board.

Only the chairman can be said to be an independent director. To be properly constituted, the board should have seven members, three of whom should be government representatives from the National Treasury, ICT, and Interior ministries. The rest should be independent directors with the DG as an ex-officio member. Now the board only has government appointees.

Instituting a board and on time has always been uphill for the ICT ministry. The last three boards have not assumed office without a fight.

The ICT ministry was again this year cornered after activists accused Mucheru of hand picking and appointing members of the CA board, which was inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, which require an open, fair, competitive, merit-based and inclusive processes of recruiting and appointing individuals into public offices.

The processes should also be subjected to public participation, which includes advertising vacancies, publishing lists of all applicants and shortlisted candidates and announcing and holding interviews in the open.

It is on this grounds that the court found that the ministry had a case to answer and stopped it from proceeding with the constitution of the board, which in turn is mandated to jump-start the process of recruiting the CA boss.

Mr Wangusi was not done yet. He would, on September 5, two weeks into retirement, write another letter to the head of public service Joseph Kinyua, seeking his intervention on the effective transition at the CA.

In the letter, Mr Wangusi argues that he was never provided an opportunity to know who was taking over the duties of his office and, therefore, had no opportunity to either hand over or brief anyone on the strategic and critical issues relating to the office in line with good governance.

“There has been a misconception that I did not cooperate upon receiving instruction to exit office and that I have contested the decision in court. I wish to clarify that none of the fore mentioned positions are true,” Mr Wangusi wrote.

He added that the court order had muddied the water and made it harder to know what route to follow in the exit process without jeopardising the assets and role of the agency in meeting the Big 4 agenda.

Mr Kinyua did not respond. It was now too late for any meaningful intervention.

Another significant development happened early in the year.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission pounced on six managers at CA over procurement irregularities, an action that reduced the pool of experienced employees that would compete for Wangusi’s job when the right time came.

Ironically, the six were arrested for cancelling a Sh4.4 million tender to renovate a stand at the Agricultural Society of Kenya show ground, in favour of Sh1.9 million, an action that saved the agency Sh2.5 million.

Whichever way it goes, Mr Wangusi exits having ruffled more than a few feathers.

by  nation

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Form Two girl stabs man to death

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A Form Two student stabbed a man to death following a quarrel, Bomet officials said.

The girl, 18, stabbed the 29-year-old shoe-shiner at Boito Trading Centre on Monday night.

Boito chief John Cheruiyot said a scuffle ensured after the girl rejected advances from the man.

“The man is said to have attempted to seduce the girl and his advances were spurned leading to the scuffle,” Mr Cheruiyot said.

Konoin police boss Alex Shikondi said the suspect was arrested and is being detained at Mogogosiek Police Station.

The body of the victim was moved to Kapkatet Sub-County Hospital mortuary.

Meanwhile in Gem, Siaya, a 15-year-old girl was on Monday evening stabbed to death by her boyfriend.

Gem police boss Harriet Kinya said the suspect, Fredrick Akula Onyango, 23, has a pending defilement case in court.

The suspect is in police custody and will be arraigned once investigation is complete, the police boss said.

In another incident a 35-year-old man committed suicide by jumping into a well after a domestic disagreement with his wife.

Ms Kinya, who confirmed the incident, said the body of the victim was moved to Bondo Sub-County Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.

by nation

READ ALSO:   Wambui murder: Fresh twist as police release husband Joseph Kori
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Man was ‘victim of domestic abuse’

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The family of a man who died after he drove his vehicle into the Indian Ocean last weekend, claims he had endured years of domestic abuse by his wife.

On Tuesday, the victim’s mother, Musangi Mutinda, accused her son’s wife of misrepresenting issues and being economical with the truth.

In an interview with the Nation newspaper at her Kyanika village home in Kitui County, the grieving mother said her son had been recovering from severe burns inflicted when his wife scalded him with hot water in November.

“My son died out of depression and despair because of the domestic violence and marital anguish he endured at home.

“It is, therefore, wrong for his wife to insinuate he had gone mad,” said Mrs Mutinda.

Mrs Musangi Mutinda, John Mutinda’s mother, during the interview on December 10, 2019. PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

On Saturday, the man stormed out of his house in Vanga Estate, Mombasa, at around 4 am, got into his vehicle, sped off towards the Likoni crossing, and drove into the ocean.

According to his relative, Bernard Kieti, he told his wife that he had ”received a call from his late father” before leaving the house in a huff.

“He was saying things that his wife could not comprehend when he left. The wife tried in vain to stop him,” Mr Kieti, who spoke on behalf of the family, said during an interview at the crossing.

READ ALSO:   Fourth woman in Kori love life emerges, says they have a son

But a visibly angry mother said the woman was the reason her son decided to take his own life. She said that life with her was unbearable.

While displaying photographs of her son, with burn wounds all over his chest, Mrs Mutinda said the wife’s misrepresentation of facts aggravated the pain of losing the father of three children.

“After she scalded him with hot water, she rushed to lodge a complaint at Central Police Station in Mombasa, prompting police to lock up my son for four days,” the mother said, adding that he was released without charges.

Mrs Mutinda urged police in Mombasa to investigate her daughter-in-law over the alleged domestic abuse and release the findings of the post-mortem for the truth to be known.

Her story was corroborated by the victim’s siblings, who rejected the narrative of mental disturbance but regretted not intervening earlier to keep him from giving up on his life.

Ruth Mueni breaks down after her husband’s body was retrieved from the ocean at the Likoni Channel on December 7, 2019. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Contacted for comment, Ms Mueni acknowledged they had marital issues but insisted the media should let her mourn her husband in peace.

She declined to discuss why she scalded her late husband with hot water, only saying she needed time to explain the circumstances to her mother-in-law and other family members who complained about her.

READ ALSO:   Murder: Kori offered 'mpango wa kando' millions to shut up

“Who has given you those photos? This is a private family issue. I cannot talk at the moment because I am at a police station organising the postmortem,” she said, adding the media should not bother her as she mourns her husband.

According to the Kenya Ferry Services, Mr Mutinda, 46, drove straight into the sea at around 4.20 am Saturday without paying for the ticket.

Soon after the incident, officers from the Kenya Navy and the Kenya Police Marine swung into action.

The victim’s body was retrieved shortly after 9 am and taken to Jocham Hospital mortuary.

By nation

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