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I will visit Jowie in prison, says Monica Kimani’s father Paul Ngarama

The father of the late Monica Nyawira Kimani, Bishop Paul Ngarama, has revealed his intention to visit his daughter’s killer, Joseph Irungu, alias Jowie, in prison when he returns to Kenya.

In an interview with Kenya Diaspora Media in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, Bishop Ngarama expressed his forgiveness after the daughter’s brutal death and his desire to have a conversation with Jowie.

Irungu was sentenced to death on March 13, for the murder of the businesswoman at her Lamuria Gardens apartment on Kitale Lane off Denis Pritt Road in Kilimani, Nairobi, on September 19, 2018.

“When I go back to Kenya, I will visit Jowie in prison and have a chat with him because he is like my son,” Bishop Ngarama said.

“I want this to be part of the reconciliation process between the three families – Jowie’s, Jackie Maribe’s (who was acquitted of the murder) and my family.”

He added: “I want to lead the reconciliation and bring the three families together. We must preach forgiveness and let the matter rest”.

According to Bishop Ngarama, forgiveness is essential to ending the trauma his family has endured since Monica’s tragic death in 2018.

Bishop Ngarama is currently studying for a doctorate in counselling psychology at Full Bright Theological Seminary in the US and aims to graduate next year.

Monica’s mother, Miriam Kimani, is also on a healing journey and is nearing closure after the recent court ruling.

“After going through the pain of losing a child, I asked God many questions. God told me to forgive the killer(s) and I even wrote a book on forgiveness called ‘Endurance in Grief’,” said Bishop Ngarama, reflecting on his decision to forgive Monica’s killer(s).

“For me, forgiveness was the hardest decision to make, but it is necessary for closure.”

In February, Jowie was found guilty of Monica’s murder, while his ex-lover and co-accused, journalist Jacque Maribe, was acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

In her verdict delivered on March 13, Justice Grace Nzioka cited overwhelming evidence against Jowie and sentenced him to death under Section 204 of the Penal Code of Kenya.

The judge emphasised the calculated and intentional nature of the murder, as well as the profound loss inflicted upon Monica’s family and the community.

“After the commission of the offence, there was an attempt to conceal the evidence. The crime had serious psychological and physical harm to the victim and the family. The prosecution invited this court to pronounce a death sentence,” she stated while reading the judgment.

Earlier, the judge had ruled out a non-custodial sentence, saying that it would not serve any purpose.

Justice Nzioka enumerated the reasons for her decision, saying the murder was calculated and intentional, and that the attack left no possibility of the victim’s survival.

The judge also said the loss inflicted upon Monica’s family and the community was profound.

In sentencing him to death, she further explained that she took into account issues of human rights as spelt out in Article 26 of the Constitution, which states that a person’s life should not be deprived.

Justice Nzioka further referred to the international instruments on the preservation and the right to enhance an individual’s human rights.

Jowie has since filed a notice of appeal against his conviction and death sentence.

The notice drawn by his advocate Andrew Muge and filed on March 14, states “take notice that Joseph Kuria Irungu, alias Jowie, appeals to the Court of Appeal against the decisions of the Honourable Lady Justice Grace Nzioka whereby the appellant was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on March 13, 2024.”