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Puzzle of Kenyan woman who died while serving 20-year jail term in Jordan

By Nyaboga Kiage September 8th, 2022 4 min read

A family in Githunguri, Kiambu County is seeking to unravel the mysterious death of their kin in Jordan where the deceased was serving a 20-year jail term.

The body of Ms Lucy Njeri Kuria, 34, arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Wednesday where it was received by family members amid unanswered questions over the circumstances surrounding his death.

Her sister, Ms Mary Njeri told Nairobi News that the family has been fundraising in order to bring her body back to Kenya.

“We received the news of her death and it was a very painful experience. We have been fundraising with the aim of having her remains brought back to Kenya. All I will say is that we have left everything to God,” she said.

Two years ago – in October 2019 – two things about Ms Njeri were taking place. A Court in Amman which is the capital city of Jordan was making a ruling on whether she had ended the life of a certain Mr Bakri H, who was her boyfriend, while her family back at home in Kenya was preparing to welcome her back.

According to Jordan Times, which reported the incident, Mr Bakri owned a barbershop with an Iraqi man and was found dead inside his house in downtown Amman.

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It is then that Ms Njeri became the main suspect in the incident because police had established that she was living with him at the time of his death.

“She was living with him and our investigations indicate that she was the last person to see him alive,” Jordan Times quoted a senior judicial source.

The source further revealed that “the woman claimed that she arrived home and saw the victim holding a knife and claiming that he wanted to kill himself.”

“The suspect claimed that she ran towards him in an effort to stop him but he stabbed his arm and slashed his throat. She then said that she attempted to stop the bleeding and it probably caused the victim to suffocate,” the source further told the publication.

However, the police in Jordan did not believe that she was telling the truth as they had also found several bottles of alcohol at the crime scene and forensic experts detected bruises around his mouth, an indication that someone blocked his air path.

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According to the family, Ms Njeri left Kenya in August 2015 to seek greener pastures. She was in continuous communication with her family until February 2018 when she was arrested and accused of murdering her boyfriend.

At times close friends could pay her a visit as the case went on and whenever she spoke to her mother, she maintained that she had not committed the crime and that she was certain that the court would set her free.

Unfortunately, that did not happen and she was jailed for 20 years after she was found guilty of murdering Bakri, a man described by the authorities in Jordan as a boyfriend she shared a house with.

It has now emerged that Ms Njeri has never reached out to her family after the ruling was made and they have always believed that she was serving her sentence at Jweida prison.

According to the family, it is a neighbour who shared a link from a Jordanian-based media house that had the news of how their daughter had been found guilty of murder and jailed.

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Ms Rahab Wanjiru, in an earlier interview with this reporter, said that efforts to try and save their daughter or even have her brought to Kenya, where she could serve the jail-term, bore no fruits.

“I cannot believe that I have to wait for the next 18 years before I can see my daughter. We made several trips to the Jordanian Embassy in Kenya but no one was ready to give us an ear,” she said.

Ms Wanjiru said she visited the Jordanian Embassy in Kenya, which is located on 175 Ruaka Drive, Runda in Nairobi County, just two weeks after the ruling was made but still things did not work out.

She said she had on several occasions tried to contact the agency that linked her daughter with the job in Jordan but this never resulted in anything substantial after Ms Njeri told her that the company closed down.

It has also emerged that Ms Njeri had twice fled the home of her employer after she accused him of continuously harassing her.

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The family instead advised her to make peace with her employer and just wait until she completes her contract and can come back to the country.

“My daughter used to send upkeep on a monthly basis which was meant to cater for her family and two children,” she said.

Ms Njeri would make peace with her boss but months later she still raised concerns of being mistreated and she made a decision never to go back to her employer.

She then told her mother that she would do all it takes to ensure that she returns to Kenya.

News of Ms Njeri’s death comes at a time when Kenyans have raised concerns over the manner in which people who secure jobs in the Gulf are treated by their bosses.

The most recent of such cases is that of Diana Chepkemoi who arrived in Kenya on Tuesday from Saudi Arabia where she is reported to have been subjected to inhumane treatment by her employer.