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Short-lived reunion by couple ends in murder, suicide

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A troubled marriage that had in the last days turned into an on-and-off relationship ended in tragedy after a businessman shot dead his estranged wife under controversial circumstances before turning the gun on himself — putting to an end what started as a fairytale romance.

Jonathan Mukundi had just reunited with his wife Philomena Njeri on Tuesday night after about a month of living separately due to marital wrangles before he suddenly pulled out his Glock pistol, serial number Beza 475, and pumped three bullets into her.

With her lifeless body lying on the floor, he then locked the door to the master bedroom at their mansion in Kirigiti, Kiambu County, and pulled the trigger again, this time with the gun pointing at him. There were no witnesses. Neighbours don’t recall hearing any gun shots. In fact, it is Mukundi’s friend Robert Charango, from Kiambu town, who sensed something was wrong after he failed to reach the businessman on his phone for hours.

“Together with the officers from Kiambu Police Station, we proceeded to his house where the bedroom was found locked from inside,” said an initial police report about the shooting.

Mukundi, a successful businessman, who dealt in spare parts and government tenders, was 42. Njeri was 30 and it is said they had been in a romantic relationship for almost 10 years.

Troubled marriage

If they were not on a trip, and they went for many of those, they were in an entertainment spot or showcasing their mansion or vehicles.

It is a life that Njeri’s friends told the Nation that she really desired from her days at Zetech University. It did not come as a surprise when she got married immediately after college when she met Mukundi.

“She loved partying and travelling. Most of her birthdays were celebrated in either Mombasa or Diani. It is sad that she has died,” one of her friends said.

Beneath the travelling, fun and good life, Mukundi’s and Njeri’s marriage was rocked by a lot of trouble.

Their differences, which would make them stay apart from each other mostly by Njeri moving out of their marital home, dramatically increased over the last one year.

Those who know the couple say they were having difficulties in getting a child. Others say that Njeri was partying too much — something her husband did not like.

Then there are those who say Mukundi, a licenced firearm holder, had a problem managing his temper and was over-protective of his beautiful wife.

Whether these factors directly contributed to Tuesday night’s unfortunate events will form part of the questions that detectives will be seeking to answer in the next few days.

Three bullet wounds

Either way, it is still too early to tell apart from the fact that a husband shot his wife and then shot himself.

“He had disclosed to select friends about the issues they were having and we advised him to seek divorce. We however noticed the issue was still disturbing him,” said the neighbour.

Kiambu Sub County Police Commander Mohammed Badel said that Njeri had three bullet wounds on her head while her husband had one.

Both bodies, according to the officer, were found slumped in their matrimonial bed.

“We are still doing the investigations to understand what really happened but neighbours say the two have been having quarrels,” said Badel.

The bodies of the two have been moved to Kenyatta University Funeral Home awaiting post-mortem.

vachuka@ke.nationmedia.com

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