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Missing trader: Focus now turns to life cover theory



The search for missing Thika millionaire Julius Gitau enters day 22 today, with the puzzle now taking a complex turn following a theory of the businessman’s life insurance.

 This comes as his mother Rosemary Wanjiru,  68, issued a passionate appeal to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to find her son “in whatever state he is.”

Speaking to the Nation at her Kaharati home yesterday, she said she is running out of patience and energy “since at my age and due to immense love for my missing son, I feel life ebbing out of my body faster and might die anytime soon.

 Commonly known as Gitau wa Mali, Gitau vanished in broad daylight on September 21.

It is claimed that he left his general merchandise wholesale shop in Thika around 9.30am saying he was going to a gym some three kilometres away, a position investigators are now doubting.

Gatanga Police boss Peter Mucheru says investigations are concentrating on a possibility that Gitau went into hibernation or a conspiracy theory to have him ‘exit the scene’ , with the actors being  within his family circle.

Life insurance cover

The Nation has been tipped that a company which had given the trader a life insurance cover has contacted his next of kin.

READ ALSO:   Wife and driver of missing Thika trader under probe

 “We find this odd. Why the hurry even when there is no proof that Mr Gitau is dead? Why begin beneficiary contacting without a valid document to prove death?” the source posed.

According to police statements, Gitau is said to have called his driver Geoffrey Wachira to go and collect his lorry near Blue Post Hotel, which he did.

At 4pm, Mr Wachira was accompanied by Gitau’s first wife, Lucy Wahu, to report that the businessman was missing.

He said Gitau had left behind a suicide note indicating that he had given in life up owing to economic stress and decided to jump into an unspecified river.

Besides Ms Wahu, who is an aunt to Mr Wachira, Mr Gitau has two other wives — Rachel Muthoni, who lives with her mother-in-law in Kaharate, and Celina Nelly, a police officer in Thika.

Frosty relations

The Nation has found out that there had been frosty relations between the first wife and the other two.

Investigations are also focusing on the credibility of the suicide theory. Mr Mucheru said “the driver is our main link in venturing deeper into solving the puzzle”.

“This driver says he was called to go collect the lorry at Blue Post at 10am and that he found Gitau’s phone, masking tape and the suicide note on the dashboard,” said Mr Mucheru.

READ ALSO:   Things get thick in Thika: Missing millionaire was heavily indebted

He did not report the incident until 4pm, when he was accompanied by Ms Wahu to report that the businessman was missing.

Police are questioning why the driver waited for several hours to make a police report even after he had seen the suicide note, and why he chose his aunt to accompany him.

“We also want to know whether indeed he was called by Mr Gitau to go for the lorry at Blue Post as he claims, why after seeing the suicide note he went ahead to remove the lorry from its location and whether the lorry was packed there as he claims,” Mr Mucheru said.

According to a source “the naked-eye analysis on the suicide note indicates it was not authored by Mr Gitau since his handwritings on previous documents does not match the one on the note”.

This throws into doubt the self harm theory.


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Concrete slum? Why Pipeline residents cover wet clothes with plastic bags



Though the Government banned plastics a few years ago, residents of Pipeline are not about to let go of them.

Plastics come in handy to those living in flats whenever they air their clothes out to dry. They use plastic covers to protect their clothes from dust or water dripping from the upper floors.

Most of the flats are up to seventh or eighth floor, each house built with a balcony, where one can tie a clothes line. During dry spells, the place is so dusty that hanging clothes without a plastic cover is a waste of time. They gather so much dust and end up looking unwashed.

It is for this reason that almost every storeyed building here has plastic covers covering clothesline. This might look strange to an outsider but for residents it is a normal occurrence.  Enock Mutua, a caretaker in one of the flats, said the practice is common and that tenants do it to keep their clothes clean.

“Here, there are flats of up to eight floors and people wash at different times. Some people have clothes that shed colour, others do not properly wring out excess water from the clothes and if you do not cover your clothes, you might find them ruined or wet long after you washed them,” said Mutua.

READ ALSO:   Things get thick in Thika: Missing millionaire was heavily indebted

He added that when there are new apartments to be occupied, prospective tenants run for the top floors.

Love for top floors

“One is never sure unless you live in the top most floor. Some of the buildings have space on the roof tops for tenants to air clothes,” said Mutua.

He further said that many choose to put up with the “small problems” because houses are affordable.

“Most of the houses here are single rooms, bedsitters and one bedroom which range from Sh5,000 to Sh9,000,” said Mutua.

Derrick Chenge, a resident of Pipeline, said he would rather cover his clothes even if they stayed on the clothes line for three days than leave them uncovered to come and find them ruined.

“Have you seen the dust that is around here? I cannot allow it to go to my clothes, especially the white ones. I cover them all the time,” Chenge said.

He added that they were forced to do this because of insensitive neighbours who do not care whether others have clothes outside.

“The person who stays above you will not wait for your clothes to dry and ask you to remove them. It is up to you to protect your clothes,” Chenge said.

READ ALSO:   Wife and driver of missing Thika trader under probe


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Fear after Mombasa school principal dies from Covid-19



The principal of Tononoka Secondary School in Mombasa where 11 teachers tested positive for Covid-19 has died, county education officials have said.

County Education Chief Officer John Musuve said Mohamed Khamis (pictured) died at the Mombasa Hospital where he was receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Multiple sources revealed that Khamis was one of the 11 teachers who were infected with the virus at the school. We could not, however, independently verify whether he succumbed to Covid-19.

“Yes, I can confirm that Khamis has died. I cannot tell you whether he was one of the teachers infected with the virus,” said Musuve.

Reports from the hospital indicate that Khamis was admitted at the ICU after he developed breathing complications immediately after he was rushed to the hospital on October 15.

Last week, Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said 11 teachers from Tononoka Secondary School and four at Star of the Sea Girls High School had tested positive for Covid-19.

The two schools, located within the Mombasa Central Business District, remained closed.

Unconfirmed reports said that a teacher at the third school in Mombasa has been taken ill with Covid-19-related symptoms and is currently in the ICU at the Coast Provincial General Hospital.

READ ALSO:   Wife and driver of missing Thika trader under probe

Standard Digital has established that some students in the two schools have also contracted the virus.

“I can confirm that at Star of the Sea Girls High School, four teachers turned positive. More samples from staff members had been taken and results are yet to come out,” Kitiyo said last week.

He added: “At Tononoka Secondary School, the number was a bit high, with 11 cases confirmed,” he said, adding that the two institutions had been closed for two weeks.

Parents expressed anger over the turn of events and asked the government to carry out mandatory testing for all the students and teachers before they re-open the schools.

Khamis was scheduled to be buried at Kikowani cemetery this evening.

During the Mashujaa Day celebrations, Governor Hassan Ali Joho lamented over rising infections in Mombasa amid fear that the county was experiencing a second wave of the virus.

“We are seeing a spiral effect in new infections, resulting in all emergency beds being taken up by people who have turned positive,” Kitiyo said.


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County traffic officer smashes car after seizing it



A city inspectorate officer in Nairobi has found herself in trouble after causing an accident along Kimathi Street that saw two cars, a motorcycle and three public benches destroyed early on Monday.

It started on Monday with a brief scuffle between the officer and a parking boy who was looking for parking space for a Nissan Note vehicle (reg number, KCA 897U).

The officer then bundled the young man out of the car and stepped on the accelerator. Little did she know that the vehicle was on reverse gear.

Hezekiah Virero, a boda boda rider whose motorcycle was on the path of the reversing vehicle, narrowly escaped death.

He barely managed to jump off his motorcycle which was run over by the reversing car.

Members of the public stare at a car which was involved in an accident along Kimathi Street in Nairobi on October 26, 2020. Eye witnesses said the car, which was being driven by a county traffic officer, hit another car and a motorcycle before hitting a tree.

Salaton Njau | Nation Media Group

An oncoming vehicle, a Mitsubuishi Colt (reg number KCZ 633W) was also hit. The car swerved dangerously as the driver, who only identified himself as Ken, struggled to control it.

The Colt lost its left side mirror while its left front window was reduced to tiny shards on the wet tarmac. The vehicle’s left front door was also dented with the entire left side of the body badly scratched.

READ ALSO:   Wife and driver of missing Thika trader under probe

As the vehicle kept speeding in reverse, riders and members of the public who were relaxing on public benches next to Total petrol station along Kimathi Street scampered out of the way.

The vehicle ended up smashing the public seats into a tree.

The impact flattened the front tire of the car with the bumpers, right side mirror and the rear windscreen were also extensively damaged.

Angry crowd

Miraculously, no one was hurt in the accident.

Bystanders and other road users stared in amazement as the dazed inspectorate officer rushed out of the vehicle.

Angry motorcycle riders charged at her. Sensing danger, the officer’s colleagues jumped into a breakdown towing vehicle and made a quick escape.

Left alone, the hapless officer found herself surrounded by the irate crowd. She was only rescued by security and police officers manning nearby buildings. She was quickly whisked into a nearby bank.

A breakdown tow away a car which was involved in an accident along Kimathi Street in Nairobi on October 26, 2020. Eye witnesses said the car, which was being driven by a county traffic officer, hit another car and a motorcycle before hitting a tree.

Salaton Njau | Nation Media Group

“The City Council have to take my damaged motorcycle and buy me a new one. This lady hit me and I fell on the road. The next thing I saw as I stood up is her hitting another vehicle before crashing into a tree and sending another parked motorcycle on the ground,” Mr Virero said.

READ ALSO:   Things get thick in Thika: Missing millionaire was heavily indebted

For him, the accident has not only affected his vehicle but also his livelihood.

“I will sue for damages. I’m an Uber driver and my livelihood has been affected,” he said.

Police manning the bank where the city officer was taken for cover assured members of the public that they would hold her until traffic police officers arrive.

City Hall, however, declined to comment on the matter with the Director of Security Compliance, Joseph Kipsang, saying he was yet to get a report on the same.


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October 2020