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Autopsy offers zero clues on how Athi River children died

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It will take about three to four weeks to establish when exactly two children who were discovered in the back seat of a car at Athi River Police Station died, after they went missing for three weeks.

This is after an autopsy conducted on the bodies of Alvina Mutheu (3) and Henry Jacktone (4) yesterday returned inconclusive results.

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor said that the two bodies were too decomposed for him to find out the reason for their death.

“We could not establish the cause of the deaths of the children because their bodies had decomposed and had experienced a lot of deterioration. There has been massive tissue loss and maggot infestation that hindered us from drawing a firm conclusion,” Dr Johansen said.

It also emerged that there were no signs of injuries on the two bodies, and consequently, the government pathologist said he has forwarded samples to the government chemist for further tests.

A forensic entomologist will be able to analyse the samples and tell exactly when the two children died, a process that will take another three to four weeks.

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“There were no fractures on their bones and we cannot attribute their deaths to any specific cause. We now rely on the police and further results from the government lab to figure the details of the deaths,” he added.

NO PEACE

The Executive Director of Haki Yetu activist group Hussein Khalid asked the police as well as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to fast-track investigations into the deaths.

Baby Jackton’s father, Stephen Mulinge, said he was not yet at peace and would only rest when the truth surrounding the deaths of the children is found.

“We are still waiting for the results from the government chemist. I am not yet satisfied with the autopsy done today. We want justice to prevail. For now, we will wait,” Mr Mulinge said.

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Clinton Odhiambo and Finny Aoko parents to Henry Jacktone. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

This development will now see the burial of the two children postponed further because the bodies were retained until the government tests are completed and results given.

TOUGH QUESTIONS REMAIN

Many questions remain after their bizarre deaths, including who killed the two children and how they got to the backseat of a car that had been towed to the police station.

It is also not clear how the officers based at the station did not detect the smell emanating from the decomposing bodies.

The two children had gone to play near the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) in Athi River but never came back home, prompting their parents to report their disappearance on June 11 at the same police station.

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Stephen Muthiani and Cathrine Musembi, parents to Alvinah Mutheu. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By nation.co.ke

READ ALSO:   Shock of dead children in car at police station
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Business

I bought a car from an online bazaar, but it ended in tears

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Buyer beware! The sleek car that you saw on that online bazaar may not be on sale – but a ruse to rip you off.

Three buyers fell for this trap, hoodwinked by a smooth-talking ‘salesman’ who promised to help them upgrade their cars, in a saga that ended in tears.

And the victims had thought that because a lawyer was involved in the transaction, this protected their interests as well. However, the manner in which they lost their cash raises questions about his role.

The address was an office block in the city centre, where the sale agreements would be drafted, buyers would part with their cash and the seller would thereafter vanish into thin air without delivering the vehicle.

Since 2018, when one of the cases was reported, the victim is yet to recover his money, with the lawyer claiming he did not know the seller.

This year, however, two more people have fallen prey to the scam and it’s unclear how many more have been conned.

Wanted to upgrade his car

Earlier this year, Mr Kelvin Ngugi, 23, wanted to upgrade his KBX Toyota Sienta and, while scrolling through the internet one evening, he came across a dealer who identified himself as Mr Ronald Bundi on Jiji.ke, the online classifieds website that acquired OLX.

Mr Bundi was willing to trade in Mr Ngugi’s old vehicle and Mr Ngugi, impressed at the convenience of that possibility, began making arrangements for that to happen.

However, before the deal could be closed, Mr Bundi informed him that the trade-in option was no longer viable.

He was left with the sole option of selling his car to buy the one he wanted, a white Toyota Sienta, registration KCQ.

Mr Ngugi hunted for a buyer, sold it and reached out to Mr Bundi for the car he wanted. He was informed the car was still available at a showroom along Kiambu road at Sh600,000.

“The plan was that I pay a Sh500,000 deposit and remit the balance in instalments of Sh25,000,” recalled Ngugi.

Mr Kelvin Ngugi.

On February 19, when they were to close the deal, Mr Bundi advised Mr Ngugi to meet him at lawyer Wilberforce Mariaria Nyaboga’s office at Uniafric House, along Koinange Street, for the payment and signing of a sale agreement.

Mr Ngugi says he did as advised, returned with the money and gave it to the lawyer, who, alongside the seller, started counting it.

When they confirmed the amount, the seller offered to go get the car with Mr Ngugi’s father from a garage in Hurlingham.

Mr Bundi explained the car had been taken to Hurlingham to be fitted with an alarm system to ease its tracking in the event Mr Ngugi failed to remit the balance.

Unbeknown to Mr Ngugi, this was the seller’s trick to get away with his money.

The two stepped out to hop onto motorbike taxis to speed them to the garage, but Mr Bundi sped past Mr Ngugi’s father and disappeared.

“Later Dad called to inform me that they had lost him. We tried reaching Bundi on the phone in vain.  That is how I realised I had been conned,” he said.

Mr Ngugi says he recorded a statement with a Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officer at Central Police Station but that is yet to bear any fruit.

He says the police have been unable to track down both Mr Bundi and the lawyer, even on the occasions the latter is spotted at his office.
On Thursday, the lawyer denied knowing Ngugi and ever having drafted the agreement.
————

Another victim

After giving up hope of ever recovering the Sh900,000 she paid for a Toyota RAV4, Ms Florence Awour (36) decided to share her predicament on a Facebook’s parenting group to expose Mr Bundi, who had conned her too.

Ms Awuor had spotted the car at Jiji.ke and involved her brother in making the purchase. She paid Sh1.1 million through the lawyer’s Equity Bank account but never got the car.

Ms Florence Awour.

Nation Media Group

Her brother had been assured the car was at a yard along Kiambu road. Her brother and a mechanic had checked out and test-driven the car twice before she paid for it.

She conducted a search on the car’s registration and realised her brother had also been given a fake logbook.

“I alerted the car’s owner, who in turn filed a report with a DCI officer at Central Police Station under OB number 67/26/02/2020.”

After publicising her tribulations, she said the lawyer refunded Sh200,000 and alleged the balance had been wired to the seller.

Yesterday, the lawyer acknowledged he refunded the money but after realising that the deal had gone sour. He admitted to having recorded a statement at Central police station where the matter has been pending under investigation for months.

“I was acting on behalf of the two because they came to me asking for an agreement to seal their deal. I am therefore not to blame. I am also aware that the police have been hunting the seller who I only know as Robert, who is unknown to me,” he said.

The sale agreement however was with Alice Nancy Momanyi.
—-

Seller disappeared into thin air

Henry Munene Muchiri (35) also gave up after a long wait for justice. He said police were unable to help him recover Sh600,000 paid for a Toyota Sienta bought via OLX but was never delivered to him in 2018.

“After expressing my interest, I was taken to a yard on Ngong Road where I saw the vehicle, inspected it and agreed to make a purchase.”

A Toyota Sienta 2010 model.

File | Nation Media Group

But before the car was released, Mr Munene was asked to accompany the seller to his lawyer’s office in town to sign a sale agreement.

“At some point everything was fine, the car’s logbook and search hinted at no foul play until I was asked to make the payment. Apparently they did not have a bank account so I was requested to pay in cash and I brought the money to the lawyer’s office.”

At some point the seller said he needed to rush downstairs to pick up a laptop for use in the transaction but he never came back.

“The lawyer claimed he didn’t know the seller in person and I reported the matter at Central Police Station under OB number 146/10/7/18 but the investigating officer kept asking for a facilitation fee to speed up investigations. I later gave up and returned to Kirinyaga,” he said.

Efforts to contact Mr Bundi were futile. His contacts as received from the victims were out of service and others were not being picked.

Cash withdrawn immediately

However, an attempt to send Sh5 to one of Mr Bundi’s contact to get his Mpesa-registered name was successful. The amount was, however, withdrawn from his end as soon as it was received. A text message the Nation sent to this number thereafter requesting his response to the claims by the victims wasn’t responded to.

After placing a call and sending a text message to the lawyer on Tuesday, October 20, requesting his response to the claims by the victims, he called back but declined an interview on phone.

Mr Mariaria told this writer to meet him on Wednesday, October 21, in his office. The meeting was then pushed to Thursday when the lawyer denied claims of acting in collusion with Mr Bundi.

He explained that although he had drafted two agreements in the past for transactions in which the buyers never got the vehicles, he has never been involved in any deal with Mr Bundi.

Mr Mariaria added he could not recall parties to the transactions because he offers legal services to many people.

“People come to me after agreeing to sell and buy cars from each other and all I do is sign the agreement and witness the transaction,” added the lawyer.

Denies culpability

Asked whether he was concerned about his office being used to swindle Kenyans money, he responded he cannot stop people from flocking to his office in search of legal services.

“The only mistake I committed was receiving Florence’s money in my account. Otherwise, there are too many criminals in town and cars are being sold every day. The only thing I can do is to be careful next time,” the lawyer said.

Jiji, a subsidiary of Digital Spring Ventures, acquired OLX from five countries in its efforts to become the leading classified marketplace in the world by traffic.

The transactions made through the platform are virtual, which exposes it to abuse but to cushion its clients from theft, the website advises buyers to only make payments for items bought after successful delivery.

“Avoid anything that appears too good to be true, such as unrealistically low prices and promises of quick money,” further reads the disclaimer.

by nation.co.ke

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Business

Why we built and turned our house into a resort

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When architect Dorothy Abonyo’s husband, architect Erastus Abonyo, received a call that the beach plot they had been looking for had been found in Sakwa, Siaya, they were elated.

The land had been standing idle for many years and snubbed by potential buyers because of the many bushes around it, but they saw the potential in it. “When my husband asked us (his family) what we thought about the piece of land, and suggested how we could use it, we were sold out. We loved the scenery and the fact that it was on the shores of Lake Victoria,” narrates Dorothy.

With the go ahead from his family, the land was bought in 2016 and they began clearing the bushes and fixing the road to the land. In 2017, the family comprising of four, all architects, began the process of designing and building their dream house on the land.

“I am an architect with my own practice, Tekto consult, my husband and our first- born child are architects. Our second born is studying interior design and architecture abroad. The house was designed by our first born, Teddy Abonyo, who was then a final year student,” says Dorothy, who has been practicing architecture for about 30 years.

READ ALSO:   Shock of dead children in car at police station

Shared responsibility

To them, building the house was a small project that they felt their son could handle. Dorothy came in to strengthen the design and add a few details and her husband did a lot of work in the initial stages, such as fencing and setting up structures where people could sleep in. Dorothy, who became the senior architect to the project, opted to stay and oversee the process of building the home.

“It was frustrating supervising the project while living in Nairobi where I work. Every time I came to check on the progress of the project, I would find workers have messed things up, which meant we had to start all over again. So I decided to stay and oversee the project by myself and when I took a break, I would close the entire site until I came back,” she narrates.

Low business as a result of the 201 7 elections that year also allowed Dorothy extra time to focus on the project. And in 2018, the three-bedroom house was completed. It was constructed with as much natural materials as they could find in the area.

For instance, the pebbles they used on the exteriors of the house were mostly picked from their land while the rest were harvested from their neighbour’s land. Nyanza being a relatively hot place, the house was designed with thick walls that shield the interior from heat penetration. “When you have thin walls, heat goes in easily. We used cladding, which is attaching a layer of stones outside of a house to safeguard it from the weather effects. With the two thick walls, it will take a long time for the heat to penetrate,” Dorothy explains.

READ ALSO:   Police questioned on bodies found in car at their station

The house was meant to be their retirement home, but they changed their mind after realising that the beauty and the set up spoke more and decided to share it with the public.

“We gave it a second thought and opted not to just have this place to ourselves as our boys were now old. Our second born is out of the country, he may or may not come back and is too old to even want to live with us. The last born too is on his way out meaning that it’s just me and my husband, so we decided to make it a holiday home,” she shares.

Getting into hospitality

That’s how their retirement home became a beautiful resort. Having come from the construction industry, the family knew nothing in hospitality except what they had experienced during their travels. “We have also travelled a bit and in particular, my trip in two cruises one at west Mediterranean cruise with the royal Caribbean for seven days in water really made me learn a bit on hospitality. Though we were over 5,000 guests, the staff took care of us as if we were five guests and there was no one time that we went to the restaurant and missed food. Their service, unlike other hotels I had been to, was superb,” she recalls.

READ ALSO:   Shock of dead children in car at police station

Having unanimously decided that their home would be turned into a resort, the family came together to name it. Dorothy’s choice, Pi Kidi, won. Pi means water in the Luo, while Kidi meant the stones. The area too was green and lush, so it also functions as a garden resort.

“Not many people were comfortable with the fact that you can share your home with strangers, but it’s a new trend, they have eventually gotten used to it. The boys then came up with the idea of putting up tents saying that their age mates would fancy that. So we set up a campsite that’s pretty formal, but we are also thinking of opening up the bush for people who are more adventurous and just want to camp by the water or in the bush,” Dorothy adds.

By PD.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Woman commits suicide days after sister’s escape

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Four days after a woman whose partner killed another man believed to be her lover in Mlango Kubwa in Nairobi, her sister set herself ablaze in a suicide yesterday afternoon.

Police said the victim doused herself with paraffin before setting herself ablaze at around 2pm yesterday. It was not immediately established why she committed suicide.

Detectives from the Pangani police station are still looking for the victim’s sister, Esther Mwikali and her lover only known as Peter, a water vendor, who escaped after stabbing Douglas Macharia on Sunday night.

The two then locked the door and disappeared, leaving the body of the deceased and her two children in the house.

A neighbour had reported she heard some noise before seeing the two leave the house.

Visible stab wounds

“The suspect and her man stabbed the deceased and locked the door from outside before escaping to an unknown destination. The deceased was found lying on a chair with a visible stab wound on the chest,” police said.

Sources told People Daily faat Mwikali was also selling illicit alcohol in her house. “The husband has been hospitalised for a very long time. We suspect it is a case of

love triangle,” a neighbour said.

Another neighbour also claimed Mwikali said she was going to the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital on Juja Road to alert the doctors.

READ ALSO:   Shock of dead children in car at police station

Police officers from Pangani station went to the house on Sunday at around 10pm and broke the door. The lifeless body of the man and the woman’s two young children were in the house.

The body was transferred to the City Mortuary awaiting post-mortem.

“Detectives are tracking down the two for grilling. We are treating them as the prime suspects in the murder,” the police commander said.

The fatal attack is eerily reminiscent of another attack in the same area where a boy aged eight had a harrowing first-hand experience when his father killed the mother and locked the door from outside, forcing the son to remain alone with the body overnight.

The class 3 pupil, told the police that at around 9pm the father picked a quarrel with his mother – Kasunga Malombe 30. He retired to bed only to wake up and find the body of his mother in a pool of blood.

Latest reports indicate that cases of domestic violence have been on the rise.

On July 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the National Crime Research Centre to probe the increasing number of cases of gender-based violence that have rocked the nation.

“I am concerned by increasing tensions within our homes. Cases of gender-based violence have increased, mental health issues have worsened, and instances of teenage pregnancy have escalated,” the President said.

READ ALSO:   Police questioned on bodies found in car at their station

The State Department for Gender estimates that in Kenya, 45 per cent of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence and with 14 percent having experienced sexual violence.

Brutally attacked

Among the latest victims are the Makueni-based lawyer who was brutally attacked by a female police officer on October 7 and later succumbed to the injuries.

Lawyer Onesmus Masaku, who died on Sunday morning while undergoing treatment, was attacked and cut on both hands by Constable Njeri in his house in unclear circumstances.

In another incident, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives on October 13 arrested a man who burned his wife to death.

The same week, a man killed his estranged wife before committing suicide in Kitengela. According to the police, Timothy Weru killed the wife, Miriam Nyakaro after he convinced her to visit him weeks after separation.

By PD.co.ke

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