Gripping details have emerged on the moments leading to the tragic Monday incident where businessman Jonathan Mukundi reportedly shot dead his estranged wife before turning the gun on himself in Kiambu.
Detectives believe Mukundi used a minor accident earlier in the evening to lure Philomena Njeri to his home, where he allegedly pumped three bullets into her before he shot himself.
Police told the Nation newspapers that the businessman had an accident at 8.45pm, just a few metres from his Kirigiti home. Although he owned many luxury vehicles, Mukundi was in a taxi driven by a close friend identified as Robert Njuguna.
Sources said the trader then called officers from Kiambu Police Station, a 13-minute drive, to the scene of the accident. The car involved, a Toyota Corolla registration KCN 108N, was later towed to the station.
“It was a minor accident and Njuguna drove it to the station where it was processed. The car has already been collected and should be in a garage somewhere,” Kiambu District Criminal Investigations Officer Dennis Wekesa said.
According to police, Mukundi later that evening called his estranged wife and asked her to take him to hospital for a check-up. Shocked by the news, she innocently rushed to Kirigiti, the home the couple had lived for nearly 10 years until they went their separate ways about two months ago.
“The couple had separated for two months and their union was on-and-off. Efforts to bring them together from friends and family members bore no fruit,” a detective who spoke to relatives told the Nation.
Police now believe the accident was just part of a plan to lure Njeri, 30, into a deadly reunion.
“What is suspicious is how Mukundi had used a taxi, which was unusual for him and the fact that the accident was just a few metres to his home. We also don’t understand why he called his estranged wife to take him to hospital, yet had not sustained any injuries. Interestingly, after the accident, it’s Njuguna who drove the car to the station while Mukundi proceeded home,” a detective said.
Efforts to contact Mr Njuguna to share details of the accident were unsuccessful as his cell phone was off. He had also not responded to our text messages by the time of this story’s publication.
Mukundi, 42, was a high-flying businessman who ran a second-hand car spare parts dealership in Mlolongo. He was the biggest supplier in the Nairobi metropolitan region.
Neighbours on Wednesday confirmed to the Nation that their marriage was troubled and was always characterised by quarrels that narrowed down to allegations of infidelity.
A man with a short temper and a licensed firearm holder, Mukundi was also an influential trader who friends claim was going through depression.
Kiambu OCPD Mohammed Badel said all signs show the man was troubled and called on Kenyans to open up and seek alternative peace solutions instead of engaging in murder.
The couple had been married for over a decade but had no children. As Mukundi’s business blossomed, his marriage crumbled. Relatives say he was a jealous lover who suspected his wife had an affair.
“Everyone who knew Mukundi will tell you he was a successful businessman but his closest friends knew he could not sire a child. The wife knew this and it had been an issue for a long time,” said a confidential source.
“Along the way, Mukundi confirmed that the wife was seeing another man and he could not bear the shame. He had disclosed to some friends and they advised him to divorce and let it go. He was a disturbed man. His biggest problem was anger and managing it was a big challenge.”