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16 murders in Kenya that remain unsolved

Slain businessman Jacob Juma’s name has been added onto the growing list of people who have been killed in Kenya with their murders remaining mysterious and unsolved.

Juma was felled by a hail of bullets on Thursday 10pm on Ngong Road near Lenana School.

For some, police inquiries have been opened – and some closed – while for others, cases or inquests are still dragging on in courts, decades later.

Here are the 16 people whose murders remain a mystery:

1. George Muchai

Then Kabete MP, his driver and two bodyguards were shot dead in Nairobi on the dawn of February 6, 2015. Four suspects are in remand as the trial continues.

Forensic officers at the scene of crime where Kabete MP George Muchai was shot dead together with his two bodyguards and his driver inside his car along Kenyatta Avenue on February 7, 2015. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
Forensic officers at the scene of crime where Kabete MP George Muchai was shot dead together with his two bodyguards and his driver inside his car along Kenyatta Avenue on February 7, 2015. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

2. Meshack Yebei

He was linked to the International Criminal Court cases. It is not clear if he was a witness for either the prosecution or the defence. Yebei went missing from his home area in Eldoret in December 2014 and his badly mutilated body was found in March 2015 at the Tsavo National Park. His murder remains unresolved.

3. Sheikh Abubakar Shariff aka Makaburi

The fiery jihadist Sheikh Abubakar Shariff aka ‘Makaburi’, who had predicted his own death, was shot dead by unknown gunmen on April 1, 2014. He was felled by a hail of bullets as he left the Shimo La Tewa Maximum Prison in Mombasa in the evening as he awaited a decision from the Shanzu Law Courts. He had been accused of being an Al Shabaab supporter. To date, his death remains a mystery.

4. Aboud Rogo

Like Makaburi, Rogo was accused of being a back of Al Shabaab. He was shot dead in July 2012 by people said to have been trailing him. It’s still not known who killed Rogo.

5. Careen Chepchumba

The Kenya Power electrical engineer was found murdered in her house in Santonia Court, off Kirichwa Road in Kilimani, estate on February 14, 2012. The 26-year-old left a hand-written note addressed to Kilimani Police Commander. It read: “A note to OCPD Kilimani reporting a complaint against LO for extortion.” Former TV personality Loius Otieno is expected to testify in the murder inquest set to start this month. No suspect has ever been arrested.

6. George Thuo

The former Juja MP died on the night of November 17, 2013, after consuming a highly toxic chemical believed to have been mixed with his drink at a bar in Thika Town. Six people have been put on trial which is still ongoing.

7. Mercy Keino

Her mangled body was discovered on the morning of June 17, 2011 after she had left a bash in huff, which was also attended by Kiambu governor William Kabogo. A witness told an inquest in September 2012 that Mr Kabogo slapped Ms Keino at the bash moments before she stormed out and met her death. The hearing still continues.

The bullet-riddled vehicle of slain businessman Jacob Juma. PHOTO |
The bullet-riddled vehicle of slain businessman Jacob Juma. PHOTO |

8. Oscar Kamau King’ara

On March 3, 2009, Oscar foundation directors Kamau King’ara and Paul Oulu were shot dead on University Way near the University of Nairobi. Moments before they were gunned down, King’ara had labelled the Foundation a wing of the outlawed Mungiki sect. Investigations into the twin murders grounded to a halt a few months later.

9. Dr Chrispine Odhiambo-Mbai

He was shot by gunmen in September 2003. Two men were arrested and charged but were later acquitted in 2005. The TJRC report concluded that Dr Mbai was killed because of his political views about devolution. In May 2013, the commission gave the Director of Public Prosecution 18 months to unravel the mystery surrounding the killing of the university don, and the subsequent cover-up in the investigation. The investigation is yet to unravel anything, 36 months later.

10. William Munuhe Gichuki

The body of Munuhe, a businessman and former journalist, was found at his home in Gitu, Karen in Nairobi on January 14th 2003. It was later revealed that he was an informer of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the hunt for Rwandan genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga. His murder still remains a mystery.

11. Bishop Alex Muge

He was a critic of the Kanu regime. One day, then Cabinet minister Peter Okondo warned the bishop that should he step into Busia, he would not leave alive. So, on August 14, 1990 he decided to go to Busia for a crusade. On his way back to his Eldoret base, the outspoken cleric died in a mysterious road accident. Bishop Muge’s death was later attributed to an “ordinary” accident. The driver of the “killer vehicle” was jailed for dangerous driving but died after serving five of his seven-year sentence.

12. Julie Ward

Julie, a publishing assistant, was last seen alive in Kenya on September 6, 1988, after she travelled to the Maasai Mara with an Australian friend, Dr Glen Burns. When their jeep broke down, Julie was left at the Mara as Burns traveled to Nairobi. After the car was fixed the next day, Julie decided to drive to Sand River camp to recover her camping equipment. That is when she was murdered and her body set on fire after allegedly being gang raped. Simon Makallah, formerly the head warden of the Maasai Mara game, reserve, was identified as a suspected but was cleared in 1999. Julie’s father, John Ward spent Sh160 million and travelled to Kenya countless times in a bid to unravel the death. It still remains a mystery.

13. Fr Anthony Kaiser

The American priest’s troubles started after the 1997 general election when he appeared before the Akimwumi Commission in 1998 and linked several serving government officials to the electoral violence. In 1999, he assisted two girls who claimed to have been raped by then powerful Cabinet minister. On August 23, 2000, Fr Kaiser was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun, which was nearby. His body was found at 6 am the next day beneath two acacia trees, by a butcher at Morendat junction on the Nakuru-Naivasha road.

14. JM Kariuki

Then Nyandarua MP and assistant minister was last seen alive on March 2, 1975, alongside then Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s bodyguards. After missing for days, the Government, through then Vice-President Daniel arap Moi told parliament that Kariuki had travelled to Zambia. Maasai herders at the foothills of Ngong Hills Forest later found his lifeless body. The body had been burnt and left on an ant’s nest. A parliamentary committee’s inquest implicated then senior police officer but nobody was punished.

15. Robert Ouko

Then Foreign Affairs Minister disappeared from his farm house in Koru, Kisumu on February 12, 1990. He had just returned from the US where alongside then president Daniel arap Moi, he had attended a prayer meeting. A day after his disappearance, his burnt body was found at the foot of Got Alila Hill, a few kilometers from his farm. The death was at first passed as a suicide but the account was later disputed.

16. Tom Mboya

Then Minister for Economic Planning and Development was shot dead on 5 July 1969 on Government Road (now Moi Avenue), Nairobi CBD after visiting a pharmacy. Nahashon Isaac Njenga Njoroge was convicted for the murder and later hanged – although some people believe that he was spirited out of the country. After his arrest, Njoroge asked: “Why don’t you go after the big man?”